Fraternity Members Raise Money For One Brother’s FTM Top Surgery
Donnie Collins is a pledge for Phi Alpha Tau at Emerson College, and though he did not ask for support in quite this way, his new fraternity brothers are doing their best to help him in ways most insurance companies do not. As a transgender male, Collins has been paying for his own hormone therapy for over a year because his mother’s insurance plan would not cover the expenses.
Now that he has his own insurance policy through Emerson, he is being denied coverage again — this time for his FTM top surgery. What he did find was an alternative form of support. His Phi Alpha Tau brothers started an indiegogo campaign to raise money for the procedure and they are currently a just little over $2500 away from reaching their goal.
One aspect of this story that is not receiving much attention is Collins’ reaction to the campaign. He is quoted as saying:
His initial reaction to his fraternity brothers’ actions was that the support was not weird — the support was not expected exactly (he does say he cried when he heard of their actions), but the support was not unbelievable either. And this reaction might be just as much as a signifier of changing times as the actions of his fellow fraternity members.
Collins found himself in a space where such acceptance — which seems so exceptional to so many of us — is, if not commonplace, at least a tangilbe aspect of the atmosphere. Which is not to say he is not overwhelmingly thankful:
Emerson itself undoubtedly plays a role here, as the college openly strives for “A Culture of Inclusion.” According to Emerson College:
I’d say they seem to be succeeding.