Transgender Helpline Offers Support, Information, and Kindness

(Mary Dupuis, Aug. 17, 2023)

Hazel Park, MI – Transgender Michigan (TGMI) was founded in 1997 by Susan Crocker and Rachel Crandall Crocker with a mission to improve the lives of transgender people.

Pulling from their experiences as transgender individuals, Crocker and Crandall Crocker wanted to find the best ways to provide support, education and advocacy for transgender and gender non-conformist individuals across the state. The group is currently based in Hazel Park, but supports people around Michigan and beyond.

TGMI’s website has a vast amount of information for transgender individuals as well as their allies, including answers to common questions and resource pages full of helpful community centers and doctors in the state.

One service in particular TGMI offers is a toll-free helpline for people who feel like they need to talk to someone, or wish they could speak to another transgender person about their experiences.

Anybody who calls 855-345-TGMI (855-345-8464) at any time will reach TGMI’s team or, more than likely, Crandall Crocker herself who is a certifiedf LMSW, ACSW (a psychotherapist).

Crandall Crocker said TGMI receives about 75 calls per month, ranging from those seeking advice, to parents and friends who have questions, to medical professionals seeking advice on how to best support transgender patients.

“We get an awful lot of coming out calls,” Crandall Crocker said. “(People say) ‘I haven’t told anybody this, but I think I’m trans.’ And we get a lot of, ‘Hi, I’m a nurse at a hospital and we have a transgender client and we aren’t sure what to do.’”

In one instance, Crandall Crocker said she received a call from a concerned paramedic which led her to take action.

“One time I got a call from a paramedic who just dropped off a trans girl at the hospital and was really concerned about how the trans girl would be treated, so I rushed right over,” Crandall Crocker said. “After the fact, the trans girl said that I really saved her life.”

She said she’s also received a call from someone who simply wanted to thank her for all the work that she’s done for the transgender community in Michigan.

“I said, ‘Oh, that’s so sweet, when did we talk?’ And she said, ‘Oh, we never talked. It’s just knowing that you’re there that made the difference,’ And that is one I’ll always remember,” Crandall Crocker said.

She said there are occasionally hateful calls, however she doesn’t feel the need to respond and will simply hang up the phone.

Crandall Crocker said she takes most of the calls now, as Char Davenport, a member of TGMI’s board and the helpline team for many years, recently passed away.

“We really, really miss her,” Crandall Crocker said. “She really made things a lot easier for me. I really do it on my own now. It’s hard to find volunteers who you can really trust to be really empathetic, and she sure was.”

Crandall Crocker said her wife and co-founder of TGMI is always there to help lift her spirits when dealing with harder calls.

However, she wants people to know that they don’t have to be in a difficult situation to call the helpline.

“I wish that people knew that you don’t need to be in an absolute crisis,” Crandall Crocker said. “If you’re trans and you’re lonely and you want someone to talk to who could really understand, we’re there for that, also.”

She said she not only loves answering the calls to help those in need, but because she gets so much meaning out of it.

“People say, ‘Well, you don’t get paid a lot of money, what makes it worth it?’ And I say, ‘Meaning. Knowing that I’m doing what God wants me to do. You cannot put a price on that,’” Crandall Crocker said.


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