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Jazz Jennings

Jazz Jennings

transgender female internet personality and children's book author
Jazz Jennings
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro transgender female internet personality and children's book author
Known for I Am Jazz
A.K.A. Jaron Jennings
Is Video blogger Internet personality YouTuber Television personality Children's writer Activist LGBT rights activist Spokesperson Writer Author
From United States of America
Type Activism Film, TV, Stage & Radio Internet Literature Politics
Gender transgender female
Birth 6 October 2000, South Florida, United States of America
Age 20 years
Star sign Libra
The details

Biography

Jazz Jennings (born October 6, 2000) is an American YouTube personality, spokesmodel, television personality and LGBTQ rights activist.

Jennings, a transgender teenage girl, is notable for being one of the youngest publicly documented people to be identified as transgender, and for being the youngest person to become a national transgender figure. Jennings received national attention in 2007 when an interview with Barbara Walters aired on 20/20, which led to other high-profile interviews and appearances.

Christine Connelly, a member of the board of directors for the Boston Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth (BAGLY), stated,

She was the first young person who picked up the national spotlight, went on TV and was able to articulate her perspective and point of view with such innocence.

Her parents noted that Jazz was clear on being female as soon as she could speak. Jennings is an honorary co-founder of the TransKids Purple Rainbow Foundation, which she and her parents founded in 2007 to assist transgender youth. In 2013, she founded Purple Rainbow Tails, a company in which she fashions rubber mermaid tails to raise money for transgender children.

Jennings hosts a series of YouTube videos about her life, titled "I Am Jazz", making her one of the youngest trans females in history to speak out on issues publicly. Jennings stars in the TLC reality TV series, I Am Jazz, which focuses on her life with her family as a teenager and as a transgender youth. The series premiered on July 15, 2015.

Early life

Jennings was born October 6, 2000 in South Florida to parents Greg and Jeanette ("Jennings" is a pseudonym). The family is Jewish, and their last name is "a very Jewish, long last name." Jennings has an older sister, Ari, and two older brothers, twins Sander and Griffen.

Jennings was assigned male at birth. In 2004, Jennings was diagnosed with gender identity disorder as a child, making her one of the youngest publicly documented people to be identified as transgender. Jennings made it clear as soon as she could speak that she was female, and although the family presented her publicly in gender-neutral clothing, she wanted to be presented in feminine clothing.

Career

At six years old, Jennings and her family began appearing on television to speak about the challenges of growing up transgender. Her story has been covered by national television shows 20/20, and The Rosie Show, where she appeared alongside Chaz Bono.

In 2007, Jennings and her parents founded TransKids Purple Rainbow Foundation to assist transgender youth.

In 2011, I Am Jazz: A Family in Transition, a documentary about her life and family, premiered on the Oprah Winfrey Network.

In 2013, Jennings founded Purple Rainbow Tails, a company in which she fashions rubber mermaid tails to raise money for transgender children. That same year, in a follow-up interview with Barbara Walters on 20/20, they discussed Jennings' two-and-a-half-year battle with the United States Soccer Federation (USSF), the governing US body for the sport, to allow her to play on girls' teams. Aided by the National Center for Lesbian Rights, she succeeded in changing the USSF's policies to allow trans students to play.

That September, Jennings co-wrote a children's book, I Am Jazz, with Jessica Herthel, the director of the Stonewall National Education Project. The book details her life as a transgender child.

In 2014, Jennings was a guest at the GLAAD Media Awards, sharing the stage with Zach Wahls and Lauren Foster. That year she was also named one of "The 25 Most Influential Teens of 2014" by Time, and recognized as the youngest person ever featured on Out's "Out 100" and Advocate's "40 Under 40" lists. She was also named in OUT's 2014 Trans 100 list, named a Human Rights Campaign Youth Ambassador, and received LogoTV's 2014 Youth Trailblazer Award.

In March 2015, Johnson & Johnson announced a deal for Jennings to appear in Clean & Clear commercials. Jennings became a spokesmodel for Clean & Clear's "See The Real Me" digital campaign and shared "the trials of growing up transgender." She also modeled for the NOH8 Campaign. She also authored a piece for Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People List, writing the entry for Laverne Cox.

Jennings and her family are featured in the reality series I Am Jazz, which premiered in July 2015 on TLC TV and has aired for two seasons.

In 2016, Jennings published a memoir, Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen.

Personal life

In 2012, she discussed her sexual orientation with Barbara Walters during her 20/20 interview, saying she is attracted to boys and that she harbored some apprehension about dating because of her transgender identity. In a Q&A video posted to her YouTube Channel in July 2014, Jennings stated that she is pansexual, and that she loves people "for their personality", regardless of their sexual orientation or gender status.

In 2013, Jennings publicly discussed her wish of becoming a mother in the future.

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