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Springfield Middle School Principal Who Came Out As Transgender Honored At City's Pride Event

   A middle school principal in Springfield, Massachusetts, who recently came out publicly as a transgender man was honored at the city’s annual LGBTQ pride flag raising. 

    Chestnut Middle School Principal Declan O’Connor, who for years was known professionally as Colleen O’Connor, said it had become too exhausting to hide the truth.

     " I certainly didn't do this to be a role model, I did it because I needed to tell the truth about myself and be my full and authentic self in my public life," O'Connor said in an interview.

    Mayor Domenic Sarno issued a proclamation declaring O’Connor has “the full and unwavering support of our community.”

    A 23-year veteran educator in Springfield, O’Connor has ,over the last four years,overseen a dramatic improvement in Chestnut Middle school’s academic rankings.

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston. He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester. Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011. Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.