One Equal World

Fraternity Brother Raise Money for Top Surgery

Posted on: March 4, 2013

Emerson’s Phi Alpha Tau Fraternity has certainly garnered itself some positive media attention in recent days. Sophomore Donnie Collins is a transgender member of the fraternity and has been denied insurance coverage for hormonal therapy or sexual reassignment surgery. But now Collins’ brothers have banded together and raised the money for him.

“I’d go to the endocrinologist and pay hundreds of dollars out of pocket, because, of course, I didn’t have insurance of my own,” he said. He’s a student now, but Emerson’s student insurance doesn’t provide coverage for such procedures.

Collins, who is female to male transgendered, couldn’t afford to pay the $8,100 on his own. His Phi Alpha Tau brothers created a video explaining Collins’ situation and then made an Indiegogo fundraiser, asking people to spread the word and donate if they could.

So far, the campaign has raised over $12,000, which is far more than the $8,100 needed for Collins’ surgery—and there are still 40 days left in the campaign. The brothers at Emerson’s Phi Alpha Tau have not yet announced what they will do with the extra funds, but we hope it becomes a “pay it forward” type of situation.

Donnie Collins’ story has now been featured on some of the country’s biggest LGBT news sites, including, and “We are here less to raise money, and more to tell a story,” reads the groups Indiegogo page. “The story of transformation, and the story of self-discovery, and the story of brotherhood.”

Collins has been completely overwhelmed with gratitude for his brothers and everyone else in his life that has supported his transition and transformation. He’s not, however surprised at the capacity for kindness that his brothers have demonstrated.

“I was just like, ‘Oh that’s such a Tau thing to do,’ and I didn’t even think it was that weird,” he said. “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.”



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