I came across an interview on Yahoo News that Katie Couric had with Jazz Jennings, a 14 year old transgender girl. She was born a boy, but expressed her feelings as a girl by the time she was 2 years old. At 5 years old, she was diagnosed with gender dysphoria. Her family has been extremely supportive and they were right there with her as she made her transition from male to female.
One of the most important things a transitioning person can have is the support and love from their family. This is particularly important in younger people when they depend on their parents. It is truly amazing that Jazz has such an accepting family especially since many LGBT teens get kicked out of the house. Since Jazz was so young when she started to identify as a girl, the parents could have tried to push her to be a boy, as some people do, but they didn’t. I have a lot of respect for them for not doing that, because being transgendered is not a choice, just like being lesbian, gay, or bisexual, it is something that is a part of you.
As mentioned in the interview, when Jazz’s mom was featured, a lot of parents get freaked out and don’t know what to do. The issue is that people don’t see this as something that’s normal, because a lot of parents choose not to talk about it. If more people were willing to speak out about it, it wouldn’t be approached in an apprehensive fashion.That is why Jazz has been named as on of the most influential teens of 2014 by Time magazine. Jazz and her parents decided to share their story and experience to help others. Jazz not only wanted to help kids in the LGBT community but anyone who feels like an outsider so she wrote a children’s book, I Am Jazz, where she shares her life from the time of her diagnosis.
It is great to see young people helping out others and I look forward to what Jazz will be doing next.