Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Fraternity helps raise funds for brother's transgender surgery

Being a Sigma Chi brother from the long gone Psi Psi chapter at Syracuse University, I'm pretty aware of the upside of being a fraternity brother.  There's a kind of "instant" family when you become a brother, and often those ties extend way into adult life.

When I was at Syracuse, I was just beginning to travel down the road of my life as a gay man.  So, I wasn't a "gay frat brother" during my time there.  It wasn't a part of that journey, although I had some great times and certainly felt that sense of "brotherhood" that gets talked about so often in Greek life.

Today, however, I read this very cool story about transgendered sophomore Donnie Collins at Emerson College and his brothers at Phi Alpha Tau.  Collins realized he was transgendered when he was 17, and has since been struggling to handle the finances of his transition from female to male.

From Out.com:

Collins’s brothers in Phi Alpha Tau have rallied together to cover some of the surgery’s cost. Find their indiegogo fund here: Brothers of A Boston Fraternity - FTM: Top Surgery. The brothers' fund has already surpassed the $2,000 they initially hoped to donate, but now they’re looking to cover even more of the procedure’s $8,100 cost.

Collins has been completely overwhelmed by the wave of support, admitting to have cried out of gratitude when he heard what his brothers were doing. But the thought that this is a fraternity raising money for him never even crossed his mind.

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

The brothers’ site says that they hope less to raise money with their efforts and more to spread acceptance, brotherhood, and love. “We are here... to tell a story. The story of transformation, the story of self-discovery, and the story of brotherhood.”

It seems that Donnie Collins and his brothers' story is certainly one worth telling. Please consider donating to their cause.


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