Good Things In The News

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Good Things In The News

Postby deej » 27 Feb 2013, 06:26

Boston Fraternity Raises Money for Trans Brother
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Brothers of Phi Alpha Tau at Emerson College campaign to pay for FTM top surgery

Traditionally, college Greeks are an archetypally masculine institution—about as butch as the Boy Scouts. Pledging a fraternity and being inducted as a brother is often an arduous process, one that is meant to separate the men from the boys. But where does the LGBTQ community fit into this macho niche?

Much like the world of professional sports, the world of campus Greek life is not often heralded as the epitome of acceptance. Locker room antics are an insidious fact of the frat house. No doubt about it.

Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule, which is what makes this story out of Emerson College particularly heartwarming: brothers in Emerson’s Alpha Chapter of Phi Alpha Tau have come together to raise funds for a new brother’s FTM top surgery (full disclosure: I'm a member of the PAT fraternity and currently a junior at Emerson).

Earlier this year, Visual & Media Arts sophomore Donnie Collins pledged as a prospective brother to Phi Alpha Tau, the nation’s oldest professional communicative arts fraternity. An Alexandria, Virginia native, Collins didn’t come out as transgender until age 17 while attending a boarding school in Windsor, Conn. Of his time in an all-girls dorm, he says in a recent interview, “They were really nice, but it was all horrible."

Thus far, Collins has been taking his gender transition one step at a time. Barred from using his mother’s insurance to cover any physical transitions, he has singlehandedly covered 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 explains.

Collins now has a college health insurance policy through Emerson, a policy, like so many others, that is trans-exclusionary. It is common practice for insurance companies to deem female-to-male breast augmentation—or top surgery—as a cosmetic plastic surgery rather than a necessity. So Collins has been raising money for the procedure for months, but it seemed that one door after another would close in his face. His petition for a trans-inclusive policy was recently denied by the college's insurance plan, and his personal Chipin fund will cease when the crowd-funding site shuts down next month.

In a time when his options were running out, 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.


I do love happy stories.
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Re: Good Things In The News

Postby Nurse Jo » 27 Feb 2013, 07:05

So do I. And happy endings.

:-) :-)
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Re: Good Things In The News

Postby PaulaO » 27 Feb 2013, 11:56

I agree. I like good news, too! And this is good news. Slowly, surely, the bricks come out of the wall.
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Re: Good Things In The News

Postby deej » 02 Mar 2013, 00:31

Another feel good story.

We Found Our Son in the Subway

The story of how Danny and I were married last July in a Manhattan courtroom, with our son, Kevin, beside us, began 12 years earlier, in a dark, damp subway station.

Danny called me that day, frantic. “I found a baby!” he shouted. “I called 911, but I don’t think they believed me. No one’s coming. I don’t want to leave the baby alone. Get down here and flag down a police car or something.” By nature Danny is a remarkably calm person, so when I felt his heart pounding through the phone line, I knew I had to run.

When I got to the A/C/E subway exit on Eighth Avenue, Danny was still there, waiting for help to arrive. The baby, who had been left on the ground in a corner behind the turnstiles, was light-brown skinned and quiet, probably about a day old, wrapped in an oversize black sweatshirt.

In the following weeks, after family court had taken custody of “Baby ACE,” as he was nicknamed, Danny told the story over and over again, first to every local TV news station, then to family members, friends, co-workers and acquaintances. The story spread like an urban myth: You’re never going to believe what my friend’s cousin’s co-worker found in the subway. What neither of us knew, or could have predicted, was that Danny had not just saved an abandoned infant; he had found our son.


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For the Happy Ending, go here: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/28/we-found-our-son-in-the-subway/
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Re: Good Things In The News

Postby PaulaO » 02 Mar 2013, 12:16

That is a way cool story. Excellent. Thanks for sharing it.
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Re: Good Things In The News

Postby Proofrdr » 06 Mar 2013, 00:55

And that's the way it should be. It took a woman to do it even before it became a law.
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Re: Good Things In The News

Postby deej » 16 Mar 2013, 08:45


Dad's Note To Gay Son About Coming Out Might Make You Cry


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Coming out may not always be easy. One father, who overheard his son on the phone discussing his intentions to reveal his sexuality, eased his child's worries by writing him the best note ever.

FCKH8.com, an equal rights organization, first posted the touching letter to Facebook on Friday morning. In the note, the father explains he overheard his son, Nate, talking on the phone about coming out. But the father tells him there is no need -- he already knew, and he never cared.

"I've known you were gay since you were six," the father writes. "I've loved you since you were born."

He also added a sweet postscript, "Your mom and I think you and Mike make a cute couple."


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/15/dads-note-to-son-coming-out_n_2883194.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices&icid=maing-grid7|main5|dl4|sec1_lnk2%26pLid%3D284430
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Re: Good Things In The News

Postby ElaineB » 16 Mar 2013, 09:56

Wow, you're right. :-)
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Re: Good Things In The News

Postby FranW » 20 Mar 2013, 11:23

Equality House
Aaron Jackson, one of the founders of Planting Peace, a multi-pronged charity that has in the past concentrated on rainforest conservation, opening orphanages and deworming programs, bought a house six months ago. On Tuesday, March 19, he and a team of volunteers are painting it to match the gay pride flag.


Sounds good, right? It gets better: Jackson chose to buy this particular house because it sits directly across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church.
"I didn't know anything about the church or where they were located, but that story kept popping up. And one night I wondered, Where is this church? I got on Google Earth, and I was 'walking down the road,' and I did a 360 view. And I saw a 'For Sale' sign sitting in the front yard of a house. Right away it hit me, Oh my gosh, I could buy a house in front of the WBC! And immediately I thought: And I'm going to paint that thing the color of the pride flag."

Jackson said he's always wanted to get involved in gay activism, but hadn't been sure of how to do it until this opportunity presented itself.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/1 ... lp00000009
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Re: Good Things In The News

Postby Proofrdr » 20 Mar 2013, 22:57

He's using the house as the office for his new anti-bullying organization. Well done!
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