If the first thing you do when you hear the words “frat house” is roll your eyes, you might want to reconsider. Members of the Phi Alpha Tau fraternity at Emerson College in Boston raised money to help their transgender frat brother, Donnie Collins, with his FTM (female-to-male) top surgery.
Donnie's brothers have already raised over $20,000! While that story will definitely bring tears to your eyes, other stories have come out recently -- including this one from a Mississippi high school -- that prove we’ve still got a long ways to get when it comes to understanding and supporting the transgender community.
How you can support the transgender community
If you’re looking for a place to start, here are 5 things you can do to support someone who is transgender:
+ Educate Yourself
If you don’t know anyone who is transgender -- and even if you do -- you may have a lot of questions. GLAAD answers some FAQs on its website, which is a great starting point for anyone looking to learn more.
+ Talk to Your Friend
If you’re not sure how to support your friend, just ask! Your friend will tell you how he or she feels, what you can do to help, and a million other things you probably don’t even know to ask!
+ Support National Organizations
If you want to get more involved, why not support organizations that play a positive role in the transgender community? Look into organizations like GLAAD, the National Center for Transgender Equality and Trans Youth Family Allies.
+ Raise Awareness
Take to your social media channels and let your friends and followers know why you’re supporting the transgender community. Follow GLAAD on Twitter to stay up-to-date on what the organization is doing. You can find links to all of GLAAD’s social channels here.
+ No Judgments
At the end of the day, your friend is still your friend. Even though you might not understand exactly what he or she is going through, you can still support him or her. Remember, we’re all just people -- treat your friend like you’d treat anyone else, regardless of race, gender, sexuality, etc. Be nice, be respectful, and listen to what your friend has to say.
If you still have questions about what it means to be transgender or want to get more involved, take action below. And to the members of Emerson College’s Phi Alpha Tau, thanks for being the best brothers anyone could ask for!