Born in male body, Jenny knew early that she was a girl
Estimate: 0.25 to 0.5 percent of the American population is transgendered
Doctors speculate that there is a biological foundation to gender identity
People rarely undergo gender-reassignment surgery and then want to reverse it
updated 3:00 p.m. EDT, Fri June 12, 2009
-- 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.
"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
and the late entertainer and politician
, announced Thursday the
beginning of a transition from female to a male.
While still relatively rare -- one advocate estimates that 0.25 to 0.5 percent of the American population is
transgendered -- the idea of changing gender identity has become more widespread in recent years. The term
"LGBT" (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) is more commonly recognized, and transgendered people have been
portrayed in the 1999 film "Boys Don't Cry" as well as the 2002 book "Middlesex" by Jeffrey Eugenides.
Many people who have transitioned, including Madden, say they knew they had been born into the wrong gender
from childhood. As early as age 3, Dr. Julie Praus, born male, didn't understand why her father wanted to play catch.