Fraternity raises money for member’s sexual reassignment surgery

Emerson College's Phi Alpha Tau fraternity has raised more than $17,000 for a member seeking to undergo gender reassignment surgery.

Donnie Collins, 20, is seeking to transition from female to male. After his request to have the "top half" procedure covered by his health plan was denied, his fraternity brothers launched a fundraising campaign on IndieGoGo. Collins has posted a video (above) thanking all those who have donated.

Initially, according to NBC News, the goal was to raise $4,800—enough to surgically remove Collins' breasts. The fraternity has said that it will donate any excess funds to the Jim Collins Foundation, which raises money to help pay for "gender-confirming surgeries for transgender people." Rebekah Spicuglia of the Jim Collins Foundation explained that there is no family relation between Donnie and the late Jim Collins.

Donnie Collins has said that his life has been transformed by his time with his fraternity brothers. In a YouTube clip uploaded by the fraternity, Collins said, "It's been an amazing experience, these last few weeks. My life has been absolutely changed by pledging this fraternity."

Fraternity member Chuck Bergen-Aragon is one of the men who helped start the fundraising. He told BostInno that this is a "prime example of supporting brothers, and that’s what frats are about."