Troubador Into The Flames

Released: 06/10/2017

eISBN: 9781788030915

Format: eBook

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Into The Flames

A Life In Transition

by

What would drive a 49 year-old fire officer to make a decision that would lead to him losing his marriage, children, career, and everything he’s ever worked for? The answer is a desire to live a different life, a life that had been denied him and to try to find the true happiness that had eluded him for so long.

It is this overpowering need to live an authentic life that lies at the core of this book and it covers various aspects of the transition process from male to female. It spans an entire lifetime - from the earliest attempts of a child to understand why, to the confused adolescent years, then on to desperate middle age and finally through to the present day. It describes the impact of gender dysphoria on a life and the subsequent desperate and futile struggle against a transitional tide that culminated in painful realisation in the April of 2015. It's an account of one person’s attempt to cope with transition, from the initial feelings of desperate isolation and loneliness through to newfound understanding, acceptance and empowerment. The book covers many of the experiences involved in adjusting to a new life, the losses and gains, dealing with a judgmental society, passing successfully, emotional ups and downs, some practicalities, feminising surgery, TV documentaries and new opportunities!

All of the above are expressed from the viewpoint of a recently serving fire officer because after all “You can take the girl out of the fire service but you certainly can't take the fire service out of the girl!” It’s a reflective and personal account of one person's journey and as such it ranges from the sad to the humorous and back again in equal measure - it's a little crazy but then again that's transition for you.

Thank you for taking the time to visit my page and if you’ve purchased my book I hope you enjoy, please find a below a link to my Just Giving page that it is hoped will assist me to continue this journey: https://www.justgiving.com:443/crowdfunding/stephanie-jones-578?utm_id=63

ByAmazon Customeron 24 October 2017
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An honest account of transitioning and being able to be yourself. The book is emotional but also has humour and so you'll laugh and cry in equal measure. Very well written and informative. A must read.

by Anonymous


By K Brown on 24 October 2017
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A fabulous, honest account of a transition journey with just the right balance of humour, reflection and tears. Highly recommended!

by K Brown


This is a well written, interesting and compelling book. Easy to read with honest moments exploring the heart wrenching journey that many Trans* people take. Explaining the internal struggle that leads them to take the massive step into full transition.
There are many lighter moments written in a manner that ,shows a great sense of humour and the ability to laugh at herself. Something that is needed in this life.
Stephanie's reflection on how her transition has affected her family and some friends is heartfelt, I certainly could feel the pain from both Stephanie, her wife and sons. I'm delighted that her children can see who she is now.
Overall I enjoyed 'Into The Flames' and look forward to seeing more of Ms Jones and her life adventures.

by C Walker


A powerful and honest account of transition and it’s far reaching consequences. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it and I apologise in advance for ruining your mascara! I hope you find it thought provoking and insightful and if it gives you a greater insight into transition then It’s achieved what I hoped it would. I’ve tried my best and ultimately that’s all we can ask of ourselves. One last thing, to those about to embark on your own journey I wish you well and stay safe.

by Anonymous


5.0 out of 5 stars
Into the flames
By lionel harrison 1 November 2017
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Very compelling, story of sacrifice & love told in a very clever easy to read with humour that made me laugh out loud. Most of all a story of great courage. A must read!

by L Harrison


5.0 out of 5 stars Great book highly recommend.
By khaled on 2 November 2017
Verified Purchase
If your considering transition, know someone who is or are just interested in the subject, then it’s a great book to read or purchase as a gift. Really enjoyed the book it was easy to read and surprisingly had quite a bit of humour which I wasn’t expecting. What you get when you follow a transition channel on youtube is all the highs and the best bits from the persons experience. The reality as can be seen from this book is that transition is a very bitter sweet experience and along with the gains can come some devastating losses. The author is a very likeable lady that reminds me of Bridget Jones, I hope this isn’t the last book she writes as I would very much like to find out how the journey continues.

by Khaled


Honest, well written and funny
By KayJay on 5 November 2017
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Stephanie's account of her journey has shared her need for an honest existence in an amusing and heartwarming way. Very well written with a lot of humour that shows her courage and tenacity.

by Kay Jay


I wanted to read this as I couldn't understand why it needed to be done at this point in life but it is very interesting, emotional and detailed. A must read.

by ...


By RLF on 11 November 2017
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Into The Flames – A Life In Transition by Stephanie Jones
Stephanie’s account of her transitioning experiences is eloquently written, expressing the gravity of such an undertaking, but interspersed with many humorous anecdotes relating to her journey. There are also many aspects of this book with which the whole transgender community can relate. It provides a valuable insight for those considering transitioning. She warns of personal anguish at losing loved ones and friends because of her decision to transition, the depths of despair to which she sank, and physical pain of invasive procedures, and also the pain inflicted on loved ones. She stresses the importance of keeping a close circle of people for support and importantly to maintain a good sense of humour. Her journey is by no means over. She has been to some dark painful places, but those experiences have given her a new inner strength to face the challenges which remain ahead. Despite the prospect of more invasive surgery and associated trauma, she now sees her future in a very positive light.

by RLF


5.0 out of 5 stars
A Must Read Book That Will Induce Laughter and Sorrow With Every Turning Page.
By Eva D on 12 November 2017
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What an essential and emotive read. With every turning page I felt I was on an emotional rollercoaster. Written with a balance of sometimes wit and humour, but then also tear-jerking seriousness and heartache. Stephanie Jones has for me captured in equal measure the trials, tribulations, the massive heart breaking losses, but also the enormous inner contentment and joy in her life long journey of now being able to live as the person she is. The book will be an enormous source of inspiration, helpful guidance, strength and positivity for those following a similar life changing path. But it is also an open and honest account, proving an important insight for other readers into what transitioning involves, the changes it impacts, not just on the person involved, but also for everyone around them, family, friends and work colleagues alike. "Into the Flames - A Life In Transition" is without doubt a highly recommended read.

by Eva D


5.0 out of 5 stars
A beautiful book
By Paul on 16 November 2017
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A beautifully book, written from the heart. I laughed and cried in equal amounts, from the heart rending moments to the various fixes that Stephanie managed to get herself into.
Thoroughly recommended

by Paul


5.0 out of 5 stars A 'must' read
By Amazon Customeron 17 November 2017
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A very emotional read, the honesty shines through. Looking forward to the sequel Stephanie xx

by Anonymous


5.0 out of 5 stars You must read this!
By Amazon Customer on 22 November 2017
Verified Purchase
I started reading this book last night and was reluctant to put it down to sleep. It is an amazing story of courage and really shows that transition is a necessity and not a lifestyle choice. I love the humorous anecdotes and can't wait to get back to reading the rest.

by Anonymous


5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring
By GARYon 22 November 2017
Verified Purchase
What an emotional read. The times of sadness, despair and loneliness are very hard hitting and you feel for Stephanie. The humorous stories are uplifting in a way , in as much as they are easy to relate to. Stephanie has written with an honesty that you hope everything is going to turn out well for her. It's a fascinating story that I would highly recommend and look forward to the following up. An inspiring person all the best for the future.

by Gary


Stephanie Jones

I was born in the February of 1966 in Cwm Clydach in the Rhondda, the youngest of three children, happily growing up there until I left school aged 18 and followed my parents to live in Newquay West Wales. Over the next 5 years a variety of jobs followed until I decided to join the fire service, joining Dyfed County Fire Brigade in June1987 as a retained firefighter before then joining as a whole time firefighter in March1989. I was initially stationed in Pembrokeshire at Milford Haven before being posted to Aberystwyth Fire station in the August of 1989. I retired as a station manager after 29 years service and now live in the Swansea area after moving there in 2016. In that time I experienced all the highs and lows a long career in an emergency service can provide, ranging from the incredibly rewarding and uplifting to the deeply challenging and traumatic.

I was married for 22 years and have two terrific grown up sons, Nathan and Joshua. At the age of 50 after a lifelong struggle I made the life changing decision to finally accept who I truly was and began the transitional journey that would lead me to becoming Stephanie. This journey is ongoing and by no means complete and I suspect it never will be, but after an initially daunting and anxious period I now live my life as Stephanie, complete with the many varied challenges and new experiences that transition brings. What was a secure, structured and stable life has been replaced with insecurity, unpredictability and instability. But I am living an honest life and critically one that now reflects who I am, I'm rebuilding and I continue to strive for and create a new life from the ashes of the old.

Stephanie is a former member of Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service and since retiring in 2016 has become one of the very few UK Fire Officers to have transitioned.

In 2016 she embarked upon her transitional journey, in the process moving from Aberystwyth to Swansea where she settled and took her first steps on the challenging path that is a male to female transition.

As part of this significant life change she joined a newly formed local company, the SA1 Group, a dynamic forward thinking enterprise comprising a selection of specialist former fire service officers who are committed to delivering excellence in the areas of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, First Aid, Manual Handling and Fire Safety in the forms of commercial premises Risk Assessment, Fire Warden Training etc

Stephanie delivers all of these disciplines but has also undertaken an SA1 Group managerial role specialising in Transgender policy creation, individual Trans* support and mentoring with emphasis on recruitment and retention within the public and private sectors . She specialises in these areas and her transitional experience gives her a unique insight into the needs of those embarking on their own personal journeys. She is also a keynote speaker, talking openly and honestly about her own experiences from a public sector perspective in a moving, passionate, informative but often realistic and humorous fashion.

Her fire service career spanned 29 years, commencing in 1987 and finishing in 2016, in that time she developed an extensive managerial portfolio and developed a wide range of skills specialising in business and community fire safety, emergency incident management, fire investigation, departmental and personnel mentoring, development and management.

Since her transition she has embarked upon several personal projects;

In 2016 she wrote and published her first book Into The Flames an honest introspective of her transitional story to date.

In 2016 and 2017 she visited Parc Prison Bridgend in an LGBT prisoner advisory and mentorship role with a particular focus on addressing the needs and requirements of the prisons transgender population.

In 2017 and 2018 she took an active role in the production of Cwm Taf University Health Board Transgender Recruitment and Retention policy, assisting on many occasions in the presentation of the policy to departmental and Human Resource managers, union representative and specialist medical service providers.

In 2018 she participated in the ITV documentary series Transformation Street in which she took a central role and used her on screen time to deliver an honest and educational account of the emotional and psychological impact of transition.

Stephanie has an authentic and engaging personality, a breadth of life experiences and is passionate about promoting equality, diversity and inclusion. She is able to talk about her own experiences, her fire service life, why she felt unable to transition in her workplace and the devastating impact of transition on her family and friends. She explains what happened upon opening her own Pandoras box, expands upon the actual and perceived fears that restricted and shaped her life and ultimately held her back from becoming who she is today. She has inspired many with her journey, her reinvention and she is able to call upon her own transitional experiences, life perspectives, insights and coping strategies to help others to achieve their own goals and make the difference to their lives that they have hoped and wished for.

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