The mission of the Jim Collins Foundation is to provide financial assistance to transgender people for gender-affirming surgeries. The Jim Collins Foundation recognizes that not every transgender person needs or wants surgery to achieve a healthy transition. But for those who do, gender-affirming surgeries are an important step in their transition to being their true selves. However, access to gender-affirming surgery is impossible for most. Discrimination against transgender people is so prevalent that many transgender people struggle to survive, never mind save for surgery costs. Even for those who have health insurance, coverage is systematically denied. Many insurance policies contain a “Transsexual Exclusion Clause” which excludes all medical procedures related to a person’s transgender status. For many transgender people, access to surgery is out of reach.
The Jim Collins Foundation raises money to fund gender-affirming surgeries for those transgender people who need surgery to live a healthy life, but have no ability to pay for it themselves. We recognize that for those people who require surgery for a healthy gender transition, lack of access to surgery may result in hopelessness, depression, and sometimes, suicide. The Jim Collins Foundation is a community-based initiative promoting the self-determination and empowerment of all transgender people.
Who was Jim Collins?
Jim Collins was a licensed clinical social worker, certified group psychotherapist, and a Clinical Instructor in the Department of Psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine. He was a noted practitioner and teacher of group psychotherapy. Before becoming a therapist he taught both Science and Humanistic Education in the North Haven Public Schools for 20 years. Jim was an avid supporter and ally to the transgender community, advocating for the right of all people to live their lives with honesty and passion. On December 16, 2006 Jim Collins passed away unexpectedly at his home in West Haven, CT.
The intent of this foundation is to honor his legacy, and remember him as co-founder, Tony Ferriaolo’s therapist and friend.