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Jazz Jennings

Jazz Jennings

Jazz Jennings

jazz jennings creates and produces songs for modern jazz-inspired Contemporary Christian songs and worship music.

FAMILY

At six years old, Jennings and her family began appearing on television to speak about the challenges of growing up transgender.

"I do experience fat shaming from my family," Jennings says. "It makes me feel really humiliated." (Source: edition.cnn.com She gets candid about the struggles of being active and doing the things she used to enjoy while struggling with her weight. And she's also butting heads with her family, saying at one point, "I do experience fat-shaming from my family. It makes me feel really humiliated." (Source:people.com))That also leads to some difficulties with her family. (Source:edition.cnn.com))

The whole Jennings family is ready to embark on new adventures in season 7 of I Am Jazz, as Jazz's brother Griffen enters his second year of law school and her sister Ari heads off to Arkansas for her PhD. Meanwhile, mom and dad are finally empty nesters. (Source: people.com Jennings’ awareness of how seismic the interview was would change soon enough. In the years after “20/20,” she appeared on “The Rosie Show,” won a GLAAD Media Award and sat down with Oprah Winfrey for an OWN special (“I Am Jazz: A Family in Transition”). Jennings spoke around the country, co-wrote a children’s book (also called “I Am Jazz”) and became a Johnson & Johnson spokesmodel. She led the New York City Pride parade as its youngest grand marshal ever, beaming at the crowds with a rainbow flag tied around her shoulders like a superhero cape. She launched her own TLC reality show (again titled “I Am Jazz” — her brand is strong). When she met President Obama in 2015, he smiled at her and said, as she recalls with an Obama-esque twang, “I’m proud of ya.” (Source:variety.com))

Jennings

In July 2015, as 14-year-old Jennings was about to enter high school, her family launched “I Am Jazz.” It premiered the same month as Caitlyn Jenner’s “I Am Cait,” though Jazz is quick to say that their show came first (“She stole [the title] from us”) and has far outlasted it. Over six seasons, viewers watched Jennings make friends, go to school, play sports and date. The series explained what gender-affirming health care actually means as Jennings maintained her hormone blockers and estrogen levels. In so doing, “I Am Jazz” taught a broad audience what it meant for a trans girl to grow up, and how important it is that she be loved for who she is. (Source: variety.com The swell of interest in Jennings’ story was overwhelming if understandable. “20/20” tackling the story of her transition, not to mention showing her family’s unequivocal support, was unprecedented. “In 2007, there were almost no media stories about children who are trans,” says Nick Adams, GLAAD’s director of transgender representation. “Seeing Barbara Walters’ interview with Jazz and her family, in which Jazz was a happy, well-adjusted child, allowed so many other families to understand how to love and support their own trans children.” (Source:variety.com))

Jennings is startlingly casual about her influence and all that she’s accomplished. She’s often described as a fierce LGBTQ+ activist, a responsibility she accepts and takes very seriously. But both on “I Am Jazz” and throughout our interview, Jennings is not exactly trying to be a polished Hollywood ambassador. She’s a 20-year-old who loves roller coasters, “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and playing pickleball with her dad. She has a dreamy pink-and-blue tattoo of a mermaid on her biceps to honor a lifelong obsession she’s shared and bonded over with other trans girls ever since she could swim. She stages goofy TikTok dances with her older brother Sander for their combined 1.2 million followers. Now taking a break before starting her studies at Harvard University, she lives in Florida with her family, whom she considers her best frie“Trans people sometimes don’t know trans people themselves, and it can be really isolating,” Totah says. “Meeting Jazz was just reaffirming, and so loving. She just felt like family.”

“Just having my family support me, that’s all I need to boost my spirits,” Jennings says, lighting up. “Not everyone has that family support, and when I think about my family, I just feel, like, giddy inside.” (Source:

The image and reality of Jennings’ unconditionally encouraging support system has made her story stand out. “Watching the Jennings family rally around, support and uplift Jazz in such a loving and beautiful way is exactly what I wish for all trans and gender-expansive youth,” says Peppermint, the trans “RuPaul’s Drag Race” finalist who is considered a family friend. (Source: variety.com Despite its title, “I Am Jazz” is just as much about how the Jennings learned to embrace their transgender daughter, granddaughter and sister, and fight for her rights and those of every other trans kid. “It really is not just about the child who’s transitioning, but the family that’s transitioning,” Jazz explains. “You have to learn new pronouns. You have to learn to stick up for your transgender family member when they’re going through difficult situations or when someone’s not treating them correctly. There’s so many new things that you have to learn.” (Source:variety.com))

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