Frat boys get a bad rap for binge drinking, attacking women and engaging in disgusting hazing rituals. Nevertheless, some college Greeks have hearts of gold.
At Boston's Emerson College, a group of Phi Alpha Tau brothers are raising funds for a rushee's gender reassignment surgery, HyperVocal reports. Born female, sophomore Donnie Collins came out as transgender at 17 while living in an all-girls dorm at boarding school.
His mother's health insurance would not cover any physical transformations, so Collins has paid for the bulk of his hormone therapy since December, 2011. "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 told Out.com.
He now receives health insurance from the college, but the policy will not cover female-to-male chest alteration, or top surgery, as it is not listed as a medical necessity. Although Collins spent months fundraising for the surgery, his chances of earning enough cash were looking slim.
Fortunately, his new brothers at Phi Alpha Tau offered a helping hand.
They launched a campaign at Indiegogo.com with a statement noting that Collins's top surgery is scheduled for May, 2013, and that funds raised would allow him to keep the appointment.
"We are here less to raise money, and more to tell a story. The story of transformation, and story of self-discovery, and the story of brotherhood," they wrote.
At last count, the brothers had raised $10,000 (U.S.) from 480 anonymous funders – more than enough to cover the $8,100 surgery.
The outpouring of Greek love and tolerance is touching, to say the least.
Even so, online commentators suggest that referring to Phil Alpha Taus as "frat boys" may be a stretch. "I don't want to rain on anyone's parade but this frat is just basically drama kids and gays," wrote TwoPermitsDoNotEqualALicense at Jezebel.com. "It's not the same narrative as a more 'old school' frat doing this."
But as commenter bogartcat retorted on the same site, "most people don't even know that frats made up of drama kids and gays even exist, so it's good, you know?"