An elementary school principal in Massachusetts has announced that he will no longer be identifying as a male and will now be living as a female.
Stanley School principal Tom Daniels will now be known as “Shannon Daniels,” the Salem News reports. Students at the school run from kindergarten through fourth grade.
“After confronting a series of challenges last fall, I let myself imagine the possibility of being completely honest with myself and those around me. 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 in a letter to the school community.
Daniels said in his letter that he believes that living life as a biological male who identifies as female “will make me a more sensitive, empathetic and effective leader.” Daniels said he will ask students to address him as “Principal Daniels” and said students can refer to him as “he,” “she” or “they.”
Daniels told the Salem News that he made the decision to switch genders after he woke up one morning and asked, “‘Who am I and what do I want?”
“I said, internally I’m a female and I want to be one,” Daniels told the local news outlet. “It gave me this incredible peace and happiness. It was just right. At age 52, I’m brave enough and maybe foolhardy enough to do the right thing.”