You’re About to Hear the Name Jazz Jennings a Lot More

In the past few weeks you might have heard the name Jazz Jennings, but who is she and why is she being talked about so much?

Regular readers may recall Jazz’s name as she’s been in the media spotlight since she was about 11. A few years ago a number of media outlets including ABC’s 20/20 with Barbara Walters covered her story because Jazz was birth assigned male but as early as 2-years-old showed signs that she consistently identified as being female. When a documentary about Jazz aired it sparked a dialog and helped to increase understanding and empathy about trans identity: being trans isn’t “gender confusion” but rather an often concrete mismatch between gender and birth sex. Unfortunately, not all the coverage was positive, but sometimes getting people talking is the first step.

To her parents’ credit, they recognized very early on that what Jazz was going through wasn’t a phase and they began allowing Jazz to self-identify and live according to her own perceptions of her gender. For instance, Jazz was able to start kindergarten as the young girl she knew she was. While they have faced prejudice–Jennings is not Jazz’s real surname which her parents have protected to ensure their daughter’s safety as best they can–Jazz has seemed determined to live her life out-loud even as she navigates tough decisions like using hormone blockers and hormone replacement therapies. At a time when media role-models for trans people, and in particular trans youth, are still relatively few, her advocacy is incredibly important.

Below is a video from Jazz’s own YouTube channel through which you can get to know her a little more, including her personal story, talking about the discrimination she has faced at school including being banned from playing soccer, and how she and her family have fought all the way simply for her to be who she is:

Jazz, who is now 14, has done a lot in just a few years of advocacy, from semi-regularly appearing on talk shows to talk about her experience as a young trans person, keeping up with her own YouTube channel, co-writing a children’s picture book called “I Am Jazz” that talks about living life with your authentic gender identity, and being honored by various publications including featuring in Time’s “Top 25 Most Influential Teens.”

Now, Jazz is embarking on a new chapter in her life. She was recently announced as one of the new faces of Clean & Clear skincare. The wider ad campaign, called “See the Real Me,” is an effort to promote natural beauty and it addresses Jazz’s identity head-on. You can watch the promotion below:

Of her inclusion in the campaign, which may be the first time a beauty company has specifically chosen a young trans woman for one of its ads, Jazz told the Huffington Post:

I feel really honored to be part of the #SeeTheRealMe campaign. It’s really amazing, as it helps many teen girls who are struggling. It helps them to find themselves and be true to who they are. I hope they can learn to be brave and not care what other people think about them, because if they just stay positive and spread love, then others will be true friends who will accept them no matter what.

It was also announced recently that TLC is developing a reality show that will be called “All that Jazz,” following Jazz as she continues to be “the public face of transgender children.”

We wish the best of luck to Jazz and hope for her to be successful in what is such important work.

Photo credit: YouTube video.

85 comments

Lady Kaira
None None3 years ago

thanks

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Magdalena J.
Past Member 3 years ago

Thank you!

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BMutiny TCorporationsEvil

News Item relevant to this Causes article:
Father Stands Up for His Trans Child After Sean Hannity's Website Attacks School Over Pro-LGBT Book

Society & Culture (tags: transgender, tolerance bullying, bullying in schools, fox/faux news, hannity, transgender, LGBTQI, bigotry, elementary school )
BMutiny - rawstory.com

The father of a transgender child in the Kittery school system issued a statement in support of the school using a transgender book, I Am Jazz, in the classroom after Fox News's Sean Hannity's website attacked the school last week.

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BMutiny TCorporationsEvil

This is the link to a News Item mentioning Jazz's book, "I am Jazz". A Parent, and then Fox/Faux idiot Sean Hannity, objected to that book being read to kids in an elementary school.
Here is the link:
http://www.care2.com/news/member/911530155/3874074

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Grace Bacon
Grace Bacon3 years ago

I knew at age 6 that something was wrong; it took until I was thirteen to find a name for it. I was afraid to come out I was 36. I used the notoriety to found a transgender social group for others like myself and I've been able to help more than just a couple of people to find out who they are, what's available and in which direction they wish to head. If I'd known earlier, I would have been able to do more. Jazz is very fortunate to know about herself at such a young age

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Fi T.
Past Member 3 years ago

Respect and equality

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Janis K.
Janis K3 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Danuta Watola
Danuta W3 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Edith B.
Edith B3 years ago

Good for Jazz and her parents, letting her be who she really is!

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