- Tom Daniels, the principal of Swampscott Stanley Elementary School for six years, announced his life-changing decision that she was transgender through a letter addressed to the community.
- She will be known as Shannon and will begin identifying and living as a female.
- Parents and school district superintendent expressed their support, applauding her for having a lot of courage for coming out.
A principal in an elementary school in the state of Massachusetts, United States of America, came out to the community as a transgender.
According to the transgender latest news by the news website NECN posted on February 7, Tom Daniels, the principal of Swampscott Stanley Elementary School for six years, announced his life-changing decision that she was transgender through a letter addressed to the community.
Daniels, 52, married and with three kids, will now be known as Shannon and will present herself as a female.
After years of living in hiding, Daniels said that he struggled with her gender identity since elementary years and had been battling drinking and depression.
She shared her difficult journey in the letter.
“I did my best to suppress those feelings for more than 40 years, and while I was successful to a degree, I have never felt completely happy or at peace. I got to the point that I thought I would never be able to reveal my true self,” she said in the letter.
In an interview, she said that she confronted the question about her true self.
“I woke up and I just said, ‘Well, who am I and what do I really want?'” she said. “Really, I learned in that moment that my best self is really female.”
In addition, she revealed in her letter that she made the decision last fall.
She wrote, “I can now say it: I am transgender. For me, that means I identify as both a male and female and I plan to move toward presenting myself and identifying as female.”
In her coming out, she said, “I’d like to be the sort of champion that I didn’t have growing up.”
Support of the community
Daniels has been a principal of the school for six years and the parents responded to her announcement with expressions of support.
“I’m totally supportive him being who he is,” a parent said.
“I think he has a lot of courage for coming out,” another commented.
Pamela Angelakis, Swampscott Superintendent, said that she welcomed Daniels’ decision in announcing her transition.
In a letter she penned for the community, she wrote, “I applaud Principal Daniels and admire the courage, honesty, and transparency that comes through in the letter you received. I hope you will join me and the entire district leadership team in offering Principal Daniels our acceptance, understanding, and support.”
Looking forward, she said that the school district will be creating opportunities for education and conversation about the topic.
For Daniels, she knew that there will be questions regarding her announcement.
“I know there will be questions, and I am aware of the likelihood that my transition won’t necessarily be easy for everyone. I will do everything in my power to ensure that there is no negative impact on our school community,” she stated.