Talking About It

 

Finding someone you can talk to about gender and your experiences of it can be really helpful whatever stage of questioning or transition you are at. The trans rep is always available to do this - you can get in touch by emailing lgbt-trans@cusu.cam.ac.uk.

 

Bear in mind, though, that while experienced in these matters and definitely willing to help, the trans rep is not a professional counsellor. Some people do benefit from talking things through with a counsellor; either through their college, the University Counselling Service (UCS) (www.counselling.cam.ac.uk), via their GP, or privately. Counselling Directory (www.counselling-directory.org.uk) is a good site for finding a private counsellor; alternatively Pink Therapy (http://www.pinktherapy.co.uk/) has a directory of counsellors who are specially trained in working with the LGBT+ community. A not-for-profit service which offers low fees and may have potential is the Cambridge Counselling Service (http://www.cambridgecounsellingservice.co.uk). SexYOUality Cambs also offers LGBT+ specific support to under-25s in and around Cambridge: http://syacambs.org/youth/1-2-1-support

 

(Content warning: above links to counselling service sites tend to contain mentions of mental illness - including depression, anxiety, and other conditions - self harm, transphobia, homophobia, drugs, alcohol, and abuse)

 

Financial Help

 

If you're a student at Cambridge, you may be able to seek financial support from your college, or the University Crane’s Charity  to help with counselling costs: it’s worth speaking to your college tutor about it (content warning for the link: mentions of disability, mental illness, medical gatekeeping).

 

The trans rep can help with finding a counsellor and any negotiations with tutors, colleges and the UCS.  It’s helpful to approach counselling both with an open mind, and with the knowledge that you are in control.  At the outset, ask your counsellor whether they have experience of counselling trans people and whether they think they could help you. If you don’t succeed at first, don’t necessarily give up; it can be worth persisting.

 

Other sources of support

 

That said, counselling isn’t right for everyone; many people find that it is enough simply to talk to friends or other trans people. Coming along to trans coffee meets can help you to meet other trans people in Cambridge; these are relaxed and generally involve a mixture of general and trans-specific chat.

 

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