Transgender physician, GCC alum to share stories on Saturday

GREENFIELD — Physician and author Jennifer Madden will present her new book this Saturday at Greenfield Community College — a school she graduated from in 1982 as a man, Henry Joseph Madden.

Madden struggled with gender identity for years leading up to a gender reassignment surgery in 2007.

She will talk about that journey and read excerpts from her book “Confessions of a Transsexual Physician” — all part of a 2 p.m. event at GCC that observes National Transgender Awareness Week.

“I feel it’s a privilege to have lived both as a male and female,” said Madden in a prepared statement. “It grants me a certain perspective on the world that few are able to know.”

“My hope with my book and presentations like this one are to help people have a better understanding and tolerance of a wide range of gender identity and expression,” added the author, who published the book this July under the pen name Jessica Angelina Birch.

GCC President Robert Pura said the college is proud to have Madden return to campus.

“GCC has long engaged in policies and practices that promote inclusion in the college community,” he said in a prepared statement. “We are now especially pleased that Jennifer ... is returning to campus to help promote this message — representing another sector of the GCC family’s voice in speaking out for equality.”

Joining Madden Saturday will be Genny Beemyn, the director of the University of Massachsuetts Stonewall Center — an on-campus bisexual, gay, lesbian, queer and transgender center.

And Joanna Frost, a clinical social worker and psychotherapist in Holyoke, will give a therapist’s perspective about gender identity and expression.

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