Fraternity Sex Change Procedure: Organization Raises Money at Emerson College

A fraternity at Boston's Emerson College is catching national attention after its members began to raise money for a transgender student wishing for surgery.

20-year-old Donnie Collins, who was born a female, is a member of Phi Alpha Tau and explains he has the full support of the fraternity, which is intent on supporting his decision.

Collins revealed his transgender status before joining the fraternity and exposed his desire to remove aspects of his former gender.

"The operation is a double incision which is removing my breast tissue so my chest will be flat. I don't think of it as a sex change but making my body congruent of how I see myself," Collins told CBS.

While some students are supportive of Collins, many believe that such a personal matter should be kept to the concerned parties and are worried about popularizing gender changing procedures.

"I think something personal like a sex change should be private. I don't feel other people's money should change my gender," a student who wished to remain nameless told CBS.

Others feel that the issue is just another form of self-mutilation and that those who are considering transgender procedures should first try to seek help.

"I believe the Church would see it as a form of self-mutilation, a physical response to a psychological situation," Sam Maloney wrote on the Catholic Answers website.

The school's student insurance policy will not cover the procedure, so Collin's fraternity brothers worked with him to raise money by reaching out to other students in the college community.

"We see Donnie as a brother and we want to support him in this endeavor," Phi Alpha Tau president John Allen read in a statement.

The fraternity has already raised more than $12,000, which is enough to cover the $8,000 procedure, with the extra funds slated for charity.

But the issue of transgender students is becoming more prominent in the national debate as reports of transgender students increase.

"These are going to be big issues ... nobody knows what repercussions are going to come out of this," Medford City Councilor Robert Penta read in a statement regarding guidelines of transgender students in public schools in Massachusetts.

A Colorado school district recently decided that a 6-year-old transgender student, who was born with male genitalia but identifies as a female, would not be permitted to use female restrooms at Eagleside Elementary School, in Fountain, Colo.

The parents of Coy Mathis subsequently filed a discrimination lawsuit against the school district that is still ongoing.