I am Trans.

I am alive and breathing.

I am not afraid or ashamed.

I am not vulgar, disgusting, gross, perverse, nor a pedophile.

I think,  feel, love, and toil,  just like you.

I am not confused, or insane.

When I came out as me, all of my guilt, shame, and fear vanished.

I am Ashley, and have always been.

I have not changed, you just know more about me now.

I am making my body and my life fit me as it never has before.

My feet are sure and strong, as I know that the road I trudge is the right one. I will not retreat, nor will I change course.

Whether I stand with a fist, or cry over foolish whims of fleeting, heart-felt moments; I am real.

I am sensitive and compassionate, in my mind, heart, and soul.

My life is a journey, it is my journey. We either walk forward, or we move back; The only time we stand still, we are dead.  Please don’t hate on me; I am good and decent people.

I am alive and breathing, as are you.

Please walk with me, or stand aside.

I will be your friend, if you will be mine.

My road is not easy, but it is worthy; As am I.

Celebrate as I emerge from my cocoon, and take flight.

I am Ashley, and I am free.

Please take my hand, and walk a peace with me.


Perceptions, Trans, Family, Friends, and Allies


Our transgender group is for all transgender people and their ally’s. We strive to make a safe place for transgender people and their allies to meet and socialize together.

This is a vibrant community group for transgender, intersex and gender non-conforming people, our partners and allies residing in and around the Great Lakes Bay Region.

Our purpose is to create a safe and welcoming environment for transgender, intersex and gender non-conforming people, our partners, and allies to facilitate social interaction, open discussion, educational dialogue, and other opportunities.

We have 3 groups:

Transgender Adults – Ages 18 and Up – Facilitators: Cristy Rush and Cris Jackson

Transgender Teens – Ages 14-17 – Facilitators: Kaleb Oczepek, Selina Halcro, and Kate Krauss

Allies – All Ages – Facilitators: Kat Champagne and Heidi Jo

Our groups are run by a Core Group of PTFFA members that decide which topics, speakers, and activities each group will do each month. We start our meetings at 6 pm and each group will meet for the first hour from 6 – 7. From 7 – 8 pm, all groups will come together for snacks and socializing.

Our Core Group

Ellen Keeler – Coordinator

Amy McDonald LPC – Advisor

Ashley VanAuken – Transgender Adult Adviser

Cris Jackson – Transgender Adult Group Facilitator

Cristy  Rush-Takara – Transgender Adult Group Facilitator

Heidi VanAuken – Allies Group Facilitator

Jamie Champagne – Transgender Teen Adviser

Kat Champagne – Allies Group Facilitator

Kate Krauss BA – Transgender Teen Group Facilitator

Kaleb Oczepek – Transgender Teen Group Facilitator

Selina Halcro – Transgender Teen Group Facilitator


Please spread the word to those you think might benefit from connecting with the group. We hope to see you there!

Come join us!

Where: Trinity Episcopal Church
815 N Grant St
Bay City, MI 48708

View Map
When: First Thursday of Each Month
Time: 7:00 pm


There is a parking lot on the 5th street side of the building where you can park and enter through the glass sliding doors.
We meet in the basement.


This is a closed group. Please click the join button and we will open the door and welcome you in. We will protect our group and anyone posting hateful things will be removed. Our goal is to keep everyone safe.


For more information about our meetings email our Transgender Group page.

For information on Female to Male transition resources see the Female to Male page on the Transgender Michigan website.

For information on Male to Female transition resources see the Male to Female page on the Transgender Michigan website.


Name Change Information

Do you want to change your name, but don’t know where to get started? Click on this image to find more information on how to change your name in the state of Michigan.





If you need to file a PC 562 form, this is it. View and download the form here.




Crisis Resources


Crisis Text Line is the free, nationwide, 24/7 text line for people in crisis. Text HOME to 741741 from anywhere in the USA, anytime, about any type of crisis.



The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth.




Teen Line is a confidential hotline for teenagers which operates every evening from 6:00pm to 10:00pm PST. If you have a problem or just want to talk with another teen who understands, then this is the right place for you! You can call us at 800-TLC-TEEN (852-8336), text us by texting “TEEN” to 839863 or email us here. Teen Line also offers message boards, resources and information.


Bay Arenac Behavioral Health Crisis Line – 1-800-327-4693

Midland and Gladwin County CMH Crisis Line – 989-631-2320 CMH 24-Hour

Crisis Line Number: 989-772-5938

Gladwin County



Saginaw County CMH Crisis Line

(989) 792-9732 or (800) 233-0022

Family Resources


PFLAG Meetings
Our Saviour Lutheran Church
2525 Hemmeter Rd at Weisss
Saginaw, MI 48708
View Map
When: Third Sunday of Each Month
Time: 2:00 pm