Jazz Jennings*, assigned male at birth, has loudly affirmed that she was a girl, since she could speak. She was diagnosed with gender dysphoria by age 4. Jazz is the youngest of four children, born to Greg and Jeanette. Her older siblings are a sister, Ari, and two older brothers, the twins Sander and Griffen. Jazz first acquired national prominence in 2007 when she was interviewed by Barbara Walters on 20/20. That same year her parents started the TransKids Purple Rainbow Foundation, of which Jazz is an honorary co-founder. A big fan of mermaids, in 2013 Jazz founded Purple Rainbow Tails, making silicone mermaid tails to raise funds for transgender kids.
In 2011, Jazz and her family were featured in the documentary I Am Jazz: A Family in Transition, which premiered on the Oprah Winfrey Network. Jazz was featured in a follow-up interview with Barbara Walters for 20/20 in 2013 to document Jazz’s two and a half year battle with the US Soccer Federation to be allowed to play on girls teams. She was successful in persuading the Soccer Federation to change its policies regarding trans youth. Today Jazz is a well known YouTube personality after having started her own YouTube channel which has gained over 150,00 subscribers.
TLC TV began airing an 11 part reality series featuring Jazz and her family this past July. The series is titled I Am Jazz. The series has caught the attention of One Million Moms (OMM) who have begun a two pronged attack on the program in an attempt to get it off the air. First they have encouraged their followers to contact TLC TV and complain about the series. Second, they have also encouraged their followers to target one specific advertising sponsor of I Am Jazz, Mitchum deodorant for Women, to get the company to pull it’s financial support for the series.
In a blogpost on their website, OMM has claimed that the team behind I Am Jazz is trying to desensitize the youth of America by representing the transgender lifestyle as normal. And secondly, intentionally using a transgender teen to attract a young audience. In a second blogpost OMM attacks Jazz’s parents for supporting her lifestyle choice and failing to give a confused child proper guidance when she expressed her dysphoria at age 2. They claim that her parents have created a psychological issue for Jazz that will require professional help.
Perhaps the saving grace is that to date, none of proposed actions attempted by OMM has been successful in achieving their goal.
*Jennings is a pseudonym.
Information for this story was gathered from Jazz’s listing on Wikipedia and this article at Huffpost.
The image of Jazz’s family was borrowed from extratv.com.
The image of Jazz as a mermaid is a screenshot from a video on her YouTube channel.