5 Things to Know About the Teen Changing the Trans Conversation
Laverne Cox and Caitlyn Jenner may be the most recognizable faces in the transgender community at the moment, but they are far from the only two transgender stars making names for themselves in the world.
Following Discovery Life’s New Girls on the Block and ABC Family’s Becoming Us and before this month’s premiere of E!’s I Am Cait comes tonight’s debut of the TLC series I Am Jazz, following the everyday life of 14-year-old Jazz Jennings. Yeah, that may not be a household name right this second, but before you know it the teenager who describes herself as a “soccer player, an artist, funny and transgender and proud” will be blowing up.
After first experiencing gender dysphoria at the age of three, recognizing she didn’t identify with her assigned-at-birth male gender, Jazz’s parents allowed her to dress in girl’s clothing at her fifth birthday party and she has been living as her true self ever since. Aside from being brave for speaking up about her gender identity and being lucky enough to have supportive parents, she’s living her life as a normal teenager these days. Well, she may be a little more busy than the average teen (and even adult). When she’s not sharing snaps of her mermaid ensembles, documenting her hair process (like every lady we know) and being a true TBT Queen on Instagram, she’s busy with plenty of other projects. Check out a handful of Jazz hands-inducing ventures this inspiring lady has going on below.
1. She’s a Must-Follow YouTuber: Jazz is busy documenting her life on social media. Instead of taking endless selfies and snapping food porn day in and day out, this inspirational gal is uploading videos on her YouTube channel discussing topics revolving around transgender people, Q+As and, of course, random singing videos. She is a teenager, after all ;)
2. She Loves a DIY Project: Okay, Jazz is seriously a girl after our own heart. The future (current?) homemaker LOVES to DIY. You can catch a couple video tutorials on her YouTube channel where she makes mermaid shell bras, some New Year’s decorations and more or head to her Instagram to just see the final product. Either way, we want to do some making with you, Jazz.
3. She’s an Author: Yeah, she may only be 14 but that doesn’t stop her from adding author to her rez. I Am Jazz is based on the real-life experiences Jazz has gone through, written for children to be a voice for trans kids and their parents. Or you know, to teach little ones about being open-minded to every individual out there. <3 Fingers crossed we get a teen then adult-version memoir in the near future.
4. She’s an Activist: Already busy promoting transgender rights and equality as a teenager, Jazz has posed for the NOH8 Campaign and spoken at HRC and Equality Florida (among many others) galas. It’s really no wonder this young activist earned a spot on TIME’s Most Influential Teens of 2014 list. (Photo via Adam Bouska/NoH8 Campaign)
5. She’s a Spokesmodel: Showing that the best version of an individual is their true self, Jazz is currently a spokesmodel for the Clean + Clear #SeetheRealMe campaign. Here’s to expanding that portfolio real soon, sis.
How amazing + inspiring is this 14-year-old lady? Share your thoughts in the comments.
(Photo via Andrew H. Walker/Getty)