Massachusetts Elementary School Principal Comes Out as Transgender

A Massachusetts elementary school principal recently announced a significant life change.

In a letter sent home to Swampscott Stanley Elementary School parents on Tuesday, Principal Tom Daniels, 52, announced she will go by Shannon and will present as female.

Daniels said her struggle with gender identity began in elementary school.

"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," Daniels wrote in the letter.

Daniels went on to say that after confronting some challenges last fall, things have changed.

"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," Daniels said.

Swampscott Superintendent of Schools Pamela Angelakis also sent a letter to parents applauding Daniels' decision to make the public announcement.

"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," Angelakis wrote.

She went on to say that the school district will be providing opportunities for education and conversation about the topic in the near future.

Daniels said she knows students will have questions during the transition.

"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," Daniels wrote.

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