Pride Month Spotlight: Jazz Jennings

 

Welcome to the 26th article in our 2019 Pride Month Series! Each day in the month of June, we will be highlighting a different member of the LGBTQ+ community who we think is a great example of representation and dynamic characterization. We will focus on fictional characters, celebrities, and activists alike — the positive voices within the LGBTQ+ community and in mainstream media.

Today’s spotlight is on transgender activist and YouTube personality Jazz Jennings.

Jazz was aware of her identity at a young age. While this might be common for many transgender folks, Jazz’s story is remarkable, because she came out as transgender at the age of five, choosing then to go by she/her pronouns. And as she has grown, primarily in the spotlight, she has become a spokesperson and activist for transgender youth. She has taken part in many interviews and spoken about her experience as a trans person, to Barbara Walters and Oprah Winfrey, among many others.

In her video “Story of Jazz | A Transgender Child,” Jazz discusses some aspects of her life’s journey. For example, she states that she has always known that she was “just a girl trapped in a boy’s body.” At only three years old, Jazz was diagnosed with having what is now called gender dysphoria, where one does not feel as if their gender identity aligns with their birth-assigned sex and gender.

Today, Jazz has a television show called I Am Jazz (which has been renewed for a sixth season), over 650,000 subscribers of her Youtube channel, and a book she penned in 2016 called Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen. She uses her platform to promote the truth that transgender folks are valid, that they do exist, and that they have the right to live their lives as they wish and use the names and pronouns they prefer.

Breaking new ground, her show recently highlighted her gender confirmation surgery and the medical difficulties she faced afterwards. She is healthy today, but Jazz required unexpected follow-up surgeries.

Jazz is also part of an exciting LGBTQ inclusive animated program on Hulu called The Bravest Knight.

Jazz has become one of the most outspoken voices of the transgender rights movement. She is true to herself and freely speaks about her transition and how she has always felt. While being transgender has been difficult for her in many respects, Jazz has mentioned in interviews that she would not wish to be not be transgender. She knows that being trans is a part of her and her story, and that experience has made her more brave. She also is aware that her life story can be used to help others, even if her experience differs from others’ experiences. And this is why she is a perfect candidate for our 2019 Pride Month Series.

Stay tuned for our next installment in our series tomorrow, and check out the rest of the articles in the series here.

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