Dr Sophie Cook
Writer, speaker, actor, broadcaster and photographer. LGBT and mental health campaigner. Hon Doctor of Letters. RAF veteran. Self harm and suicide survivor. 13th most influential figure in Brighton, apparently... oh, and transgender. Dr Sophie Cook became the first transgender woman to work in football’s Premier League as club photographer for AFC Bournemouth following her transition from Steve to Sophie in the summer of 2015. Europe’s first trans TV newscaster, Sophie has hosted her own TV and radio chat shows and is an experienced broadcaster. In the 2017 General Election she contested the East Worthing & Shoreham seat, increasing the Labour vote by 114% and narrowly missing out on becoming the UK’s first trans MP. Sophie is a standup comedian, actor and an in-demand public speaker, delivering keynote talks internationally including a TEDx Talk on change, fear, vulnerability, diversity, mental health and LGBT issues. In 2019 as recognition of her work around mental health Sophie was awarded the title of Doctor of Letters honoris causa by Bournemouth University. Sophie was presented with the Outstanding Contribution to LGBT+ Life Award at the 2020 British LGBT Awards and in 2019 was named as the 13th Most Influential Person in Brighton according to the Brighton Power 100. Working with organisations of all sizes, Sophie is honoured to hold the position of Speak Out Champion at the Crown Prosecution Service where she is responsible for improving confidence amongst employees in being able to speak openly about their experiences as part of the CPS’ continued cultural drive to embed EDI within every tier of management across the organisation. Sophie’s published books include her autobiography ‘Not Today: How I Chose Life’ which charts her personal journey from despair to redemption and acts as a self help book for anyone struggling with their mental health and identity, and a series of illustrated volumes that address various forms of bigotry. Sophie is honoured to hold the following positions: Honorary Vice President at Bellevue FC, Ambassador for Kick It Out, Ambassador for the Sussex Disability Football League, Ambassador for Hope Charity Project, Ambassador for Beyond Reflections, Patron of Just A Ball Game, Patron of Proud Cherries, Patron of Space Youth Project, Patron of People’s Pride Southampton, Equality & Diversity Officer Whitehawk FC and member of the Sussex County FA Inclusion Advisory Group.