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, embrace my true gender and begin 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 had been replaced with insecurity, unpredictability and instability, but Im fighting to regain control of this life and Im succeeding. The life I live now is an honest one and critically one that reflects who I am, I'm rebuilding and I continue to strive for and create a new life from the ashes of the old.
I have used my experiences and knowledge to write these two heartfelt books, creating these has been a hugely cathartic process in my life and helped me calm those choppy and unpredictable waters, I now use that experience to deliver talks to various groups in the hope of raising and promoting transgender awareness and understanding. I hope to inspire and help others by providing insights into my journey, and perhaps show that it is possible to navigate your way through the flames and emerge a more contented and peaceful person.