I’ve actively worked to keep this blog as anonymous as possible, out of some fear that someone I know might discover it, or that someone I don’t know might use information from the blog to try and discover me. But as I’m working towards being more open about my transition in my life, it seems only fitting that I start to let my guard down a little here, too.
I’m taking this step today because I want to talk about how lucky I am to have access to the University of Michigan Health Services Comprehensive Gender Services Program.
I am a Michigander.[Yes, a Michigander; people who say “Michiganian” aren’t true Michigan people.] More importantly, I live in Southeast Michigan, which means I’m within convenient driving distance of Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan and the CGSP. Now, making initial contact with the CGSP was a bit frustrating (if you remember me complaining about the “local Uni gender program” taking forever to get back to me, this was it), but once things started rolling they’ve been incredible. My therapist through the CGSP, Nancy, has been a lifeline for me, especially since the suicide attempt; she’s made me feel better and helped my see my path forward more clearly.
The CGSP even has a blog (hosted free on WordPress.com, no less!) that I will promote here because I think I’d like to see them post as much as possible. More visitors will hopefully mean more content. So go read them. [Incidentally, the Nancy who writes that blog is not the Nancy who works with me there. I haven’t met the blog Nancy yet, but I would like to.]
I was aware of the CGSP from the very beginning, because when my brother-in-law made his transition he used their services. Erica, the woman whom I reached out to when I first decided that I was more than just a cross-dresser, also transitioned with the program. So I didn’t have to seek them out blindly or stumble through Google searches to find help; I knew they were there, and when I admitted to myself that I needed them, they were one of the first places I contacted.
I really am one of the lucky ones to have a resource like this on hand. Since connecting with them in March they have really helped me figure out … well, they have helped my figured out why I connected with them in the first place. Wherever I end up, whoever I end up being, I will be the better for it because of the CGSP.
If you’re not fortunate enough to live close to Ann Arbor, there are other programs out there. If you’ve got a major university near you, especially one with a big health program like U of M has, you might find out that help is closer than you think.