Transgender Stories

Two stories. One in the third person – a story about transgender folk. Another in the first person. Both touching and sure to create a little more empathy – with some, anyway.

Born in male body, Jenny knew early that she was a girl

Henry Joseph Madden was a good student and track team member in high school, but he had a secret: He sometimes wore his mother’s pantyhose and underwear under his clothes.

Dr. Jennifer Madden, a family physician, began her transition to being female at age 48.

Picture: Dr. Jennifer Madden, a family physician, began her transition to being female at age 48.

“I really wanted to be a girl so bad, and that was one way for me to satisfy those feelings,” Madden said. “I always felt like someone was looking over my shoulder.”

The desire to be female never went away. At age 48, Madden confessed these feelings to a doctor, and started seeing a gender therapist who suggested Madden was transgendered. Through reconstructive surgeries, electrolysis, laser procedures and voice lessons, Henry Joseph became Jennifer Elizabeth, known as Jenny. She is a practicing family physician in Nashua, New Hampshire.

Chastity Bono, child of performer Cher and the late entertainer and politician Sonny Bono, announced Thursday the beginning of a transition from female to a male. The rest of the story can be found at CNN.com.

Commentary: Chastity, ‘Good luck, brother!’

Welcome, Chaz!

Before the word “transsexual” had been coined in English, an intrepid young person whose family belonged to the British nobility set out to transform herself from female to male. He received a medical school education, obtained hormones — relatively new substances that were poorly understood at the time, and independently began living as a man in the early 1940s.

Eventually, he found a plastic surgeon to help him, and his physical changes were complete by 1949, but his family rejected him. The British tabloids hounded him. To escape publicity, he was forced to carve out a life for himself virtually alone. He became a Buddhist monk, and died in Tibet in 1962 at the age of 47.

His name was Michael Dillon, and he one of the Western world’s first transsexual people, that is, someone who changes sex and/or gender by medical means. His extensive writings were suppressed and destroyed by his family — only fragments survive.

By 1988, when I began my transition (just before my 40th birthday), there was scarcely more information about female-to-male transsexualism available than there was in 1949. Even in the early 1990s, doctors told transsexual people that we should not socialize together, because people might notice there were things about us that were different from “normal” people. The rest can be read at CNN.com.

1 Response to “Transgender Stories”

  1. 1 Megan More
    March 20, 2010 at 7:44 PM

    Dear Rev Little,

    I am currently a seminarian at Claremont School of Theology, and transgendered. Currently, my own personal mission is in Transgendered Liberation theology, of which I see and read so little authentic voices. There are many who sympathise, but none I have found who are speaking from the soul from a transwoman perspective. It is my intentions upon graduation and oridination, to be such a voice, to help educate the general public about transgender issues, especially M2F, but also to outreach to the trans community to let then know that it is not God who abandonded them, but the hatered of ignorance and fear.

    Still, if you have any sources, authentic, that I could tap into, I would appreciate it. If you want more of my own story, let me know as well.

    Megan More

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That's too bad - I'm so sorry. Oh, well, just try to make the best of it. What you'll find here is a variety of essays and ramblings to do with things theological, social, whimsical and, sometimes, all three. I don't write to get famous - trust me, I've been told how futile that would be - but to express myself. I love to communicate and browbeat - ummm, I mean dialogue - about the things I find intriguing. Since you're here, and the door's locked, why don't you stay a while. There's a page bar under the header with links to information about us - I mean me. Don't forget to tell me what you think - in a nice way, I mean.

Readers since Jan 2009

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