A week before Kate Koenig's first year in college started, her parents discovered her blog where she identified as pansexual and then found out the man she's dating is transgender. Then they nearly derailed her college career.
"As a result of that (discovery) they decided to cut me off," Koenig explained to HuffPost Live.
Without her parents' assistance, Koenig, and English major with a 4.1 GPA, didn't have the help she needed to pay for college at the University of Pittsburgh, which she considered her dream school.
"I was shaking, I was on public transportation and I started sobbing," Koenig said. "My first thought was, 'How am I going to pay for second semester?'"
She couldn't think of anything besides the fact that she needed to stay at Pitt. So she started a GoFundMe page to fundraise to cover her college tuition. To date, she's raised $7,327 toward a $15,000 goal from 291 people in 6 days.
Her family, meanwhile, is still holding out hope that Koenig will suddenly become heterosexual.
"They're praying literally praying that I turn off my sexuality and come back to the faith, come back to the church and ... come back to them," Koenig said.
Despite Koenig's parents' objections, she maintains her faith and says she doesn't believe "being gay disqualifies from also believing in Jesus and having a religion."
President Barack Obama previously said in 2013 there are no "special laws" planned to help students like Koenig who are cut off by their parents for being in the LGBTQ community.