By supporting a trans brother in his surgery, the Phi Alpha Tau fraternity is giving the world a lesson on what brotherhood really means.
A transgender student at Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts, Donnie Collins is finding out what the true meaning of brotherhood is all about. Collins, a sophomore pledge to the Phi Alpha Tau fraternity is a trans man, and has been accepted by his fraternity brothers as such. That acceptance alone may come as a surprise to many, considering the widely accepted stereotypes of “frat boys” and Greeks in general. But according to Gay Star News, not only are the brothers of Phi Alpha Tau breaking stereotypes by accepting their transgender brother as one of their own, but after finding out that Collins’ insurance refused to cover his female-to-male top surgery they started a social media campaign to raise the money themselves.
The created a page on IndieGogo.com to raise awareness and accept donations. They said, “We care deeply about each and everyone, and rely on the entire active brotherhood to stand behind any one individual when they are in need. We as an organization are told from day one to use our resources. You may not know this gentleman like we do, and we might not even know you, but if it speaks to you then we want to present you with an opportunity to give.” Collins told Out.com that he, “cried with gratitude” when he found out about the fundraising his fraternity brothers were doing for him. His insurance also refused to pay for hormone therapy so he has paid out of pocket for all of it. He said, “I was just like, ‘Oh that’s such a Tau thing to do,’ and I didn’t even think it was that weird. But then I started sending [the indiegogo link] out to people, and they were like, ‘Oh my god, that’s amazing! See, Greek Life isn’t bad; it’s amazing.’”
Phi Alpha Tau is not only trying to raise money for Collins’ top surgery, they are also trying to raise awareness and, “… to tell a story. The story of transformation, the story of self-discovery, and the story of brotherhood,” a story that they hope sparks a world-wide conversation.