Jazz Jennings is a teenager known for her LGBTQ rights activism. She was born male but accepted her female transgender identity at a very young age. She is one of the youngest publically documented transgender people. Jazz was diagnosed with gender dysphoria, a gender identity disorder, when she was four. Since then she has appeared on numerous talk shows and also features in a TLC reality show named ‘I Am Jazz’ that focuses on the family’s struggles of raising a transgender girl. She also co-wrote a book by the same name describing the struggles of being a transgender girl. She actively participates in LGBTQ rights events and works for several charity organizations.
Rise to Stardom
Jazz was born a male and named Jared. She was drawn to girly clothes and would be unhappy when dressed in boys’ clothes. Her parents thought it was a phase that would naturally pass but she started getting more feminine. On taking her to a specialist, Jazz was diagnosed with a gender identity disorder and was confirmed as a transgender. Her parents decided to bring her up as a girl and have faced many challenges. Jazz and her parents have appeared on television several times to share how tough her life is to grow up as a transgender. Her story has been screened on national television shows like ‘20/20’ and ‘The Rosie Show’, where she appeared with Chaz Bono who is a transgender man and a fellow LGBT activist. She has won numerous accolades for the courage she has shown over the years.
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What Makes Jazz Jennings so Special
Along with her parents, Jazz founded Transkids Purple Rainbow Foundation in 2007. The foundation aims at assisting transgender youth. In 2011, a documentary on Jazz’s life and family called ‘I Am Jazz: A Family In Transition’ was first screened on ‘The Oprah Winfrey Network.’ In 2013, Jazz founded a company called Purple Rainbow Tails and fashions custom designed silicone mermaid tails to raise money for transgender children. She also battled the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) to permit transgender children to play soccer.
In 2014, Jazz was a guest on the GLAAD Media Awards and was named one of ‘The 25 Most Influential Teens of 2014’ by ‘Time.’ She was also named a Human Rights campaign Youth Ambassador and received Youth Trailblazer Award from LogoTV. In March 2015, an announcement was made by Johnson & Johnson that Jazz would be appearing in their Clean & Clear commercials. She became a spokesmodel for Clean & Clear’s digital campaign and shared her experiences and struggles. She also modeled for a NOH8 campaign. NOH8 is a charitable organization that promotes LGBT rights and gender and human equality.
Behind The Curtains
Jazz is extremely artistic and loves to paint. She also loves styling her hair differently when she has free time. She has a passion for playing soccer and plays for her school soccer team. She makes and sells siliocone mermaid tails to raise funds for transgender children. Jazz likes spending time with her family and is grateful that she has found love and acceptance from them. She credits them with helping her discover who she truly is.
She feels glad to have influenced and saved lives at such a young age. She has also said that though some comments on her channel and pages are extremely venomous, it does not bring her down. She has openly talked about her wish to become a mother in the future. Apart from being a great spokesperson, Jazz is also good at writing. She has written and published a memoir named ‘Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen’ in 2016.
Jazz was included in the Time Magazine list of’25 most influential teens’ in 2014.