To many of her patients, Dr. Jennifer Madden is more than just your typical family practitioner. She’s also a social worker, a therapist, minister and a friend—especially to her transgender patients and those questioning their gender identity.
“People come to me to explore transitioning, and sometimes I’m the first professional person that they open up to. I have a lot of transgender patients that come to the office,” Madden said. “I provide counseling, prescribe hormone therapy, and help them with surgical decisions; I basically try to provide good medical care. I want people to be happy, to live productive lives, and to contribute to society.”
It’s no question why her patients open up to her.
After growing up in New England, Madden entered the United States Air Force, then attended community college, earned her bachelor’s degree, and then went to medical school. After graduating from medical school, she moved to New Hampshire.
Despite living as a man for much of her life, and struggling with her identity, since transitioning and living as her true self, a whole new world has opened up for Dr. Madden. She is currently enrolled in ballet classes, piano lessons, she has learned to sew, and has become a writer.
“I never would have taken a ballet class before my transition. I didn’t even think of taking one until after I transitioned. After I did, I found all these avenues of things that I enjoyed that I wouldn’t have found otherwise,” Madden said. “It was a big change for my family, but when they see me at recitals and see that I’m happy, that’s all they care about.”
Dr. Madden says she is fortunate to have a strong support system, including loving parents, two sons, her colleagues and her faith community. Unfortunately, not all transgender people in the Granite State are as fortunate. Currently, transgender individuals have no explicit protections from discrimination in housing, employment or public services in New Hampshire. That means transgender person across the Granite State often fear being evicted from their home, be fired from their job or kicked out of a restaurant just because of who they are.
“I try to spend as much time with my patients as I can to help them. I try not to have them focus too much on the big picture, but to try to take it a week or month at a time. It can be overwhelming once someone figures out what the process is like, how slowly the changes can occur, and how much of a struggle they will have with family, work and friends. My own experiences help me guide them,” Madden added.
Dr. Madden is proud to call New Hampshire home and wants nothing more than to help her patients live the happiest and truest version of themselves.