Lincolnshire’s first transgender councillor has promised to do all she can to inspire others to believe in themselves in her new position.
Stephanie Dale, 49, who works as a coach driver, has lived in Sleaford since 2002, and has been elected as the new councillor for the Mareham Ward on the town council.
After spending years living in what she believed was the wrong body, in January 2016, Stephanie decided to take the first step in transforming herself from a man into a woman.
She told Lincolnshire Reporter: “On January 16, 2016, at 3pm, I was eating cheese and onion Hula Hoops and just thought, ‘right! I have to do it. It’s now or never!’
“I’m 16 months down the line, still waiting to be seen by the specialists.
“I’m currently undergoing hormone treatment and will be having surgery to correct what was wrong from birth.
“I’ve known from an early age that my gender wasn’t an issue, it was my body that was wrong.
“My gender is female, so to now live authentically feels like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders.”
Stephanie said it was an honour to become Lincolnshire’s first transgender councillor and hopes she will help make a difference for people who are born in the wrong body.
She added: “It is encouraging to know that my lovely rural market town is paving the way in acceptance of diversity.
“The support I’ve had, and continue to have, is overwhelming at times.
“To be frank, they really don’t bat an eyelid, and are more interested in what I can do as a person.
“My role as a town councillor will hopefully inspire people to believe in themselves, and understand that you can achieve goals in life no matter who you are.
“We live in a great county with such a wide spectrum of all types of people. To discount someone by what they can achieve or offer to our community purely on first impressions, quite frankly in my opinion, we’re missing a trick or two.”