BROOKLINE, Mass. — An elementary school principal in Massachusetts recently sent an email to parents to announce that she is in the process of “transitioning” into a man.
Asa Sevelius, 45, has worked as the principal of Heath School for the past three years—a public institution that serves children pre-k through the eighth grade. On Wednesday, Sevelius sent an email to parents to advise that she is undergoing treatments to become masculine.
“Dear Heath Community, I am writing to all of you to share some powerful news about me,” the correspondence read. “I am transgender.”
She told WBUR Radio that she made the announcement as she wants to “make sure that my community, as much as possible, is a part of [the transition] process.”
“I work with almost 600 kids every single day and I need them to not exist in some weird, confusing place, but to really be able to be brought along in a way that is developmentally appropriate for them and not to be surprised when changes to my body occur—my voice deepens, for example, or I’m suddenly able to have a mustache when I’m greeting them at the front door,” she explained to the outlet.
According to the Boston Globe, Sevelius, who is originally from Georgia, moved to San Francisco over a decade ago and came out as a lesbian. While there, she entered into a relationship with a woman from Massachusetts and moved to the state after same-sex “marriage” was permitted by the state government. The two now raise a 5 and 10-year-old together.
But while living as a lesbian, she said she felt “ceaseless waves of dysphoria” and an “endless feeling of ‘something else.’” Sevelius concluded in observing Bruce Jenner and Roderick Laverne Cox that she needed to come out as a man.
She said that she is willing to help parents have discussions with their children about her new identification as a man, especially since “one of these days I’m probably going to have a beard and people might wonder why.”
“This is a conversation that I’m ready and willing to help them have with their kids, either collectively, or help them to have it at the dinner table,” Sevelius WBUR. “I think there are all kinds of ways to be in this world. And I believe that I also have the right to bring my most authentic self, as do their kids. I’m hoping that those are the kinds of things that emerge in this moment for these families and for me.”
The Boston Globe states that some teachers handed out ribbons on Thursday in support of Sevelius, and the outlet interviewed several supportive parents who opined that Sevelius “is a great example for our children” because she “is an example of how you live your life openly and honestly.”
However, not all who have learned of the development agree that the matter is a positive influence for children.
“Children need to be just that—children. Forcing the concept of transsexualism on 7 and 8-year-olds who didn’t sign up for it is needless and unhealthy,” one commenter opined. “A 7-year-old should only be concerned with what he or she is going to play at recess, and what 5+5 is, and maybe which cartoon to watch after school. If this principal wanted to come out to high schoolers that’s a much different conversation.”