Monday, July 20, 2015

I Am Jazz - Why This Show Is Important

I finally caught up with the show I Am Jazz, the story of Jazz Jennings, a transgendered teenager.

The show gives us a glimpse into Jazz Jennings' life. We meet Jeanette and Greg, Jazz' parents, as well as her family. Jazz, born as a boy named Jaron, always wanted to do 'girly' things. Jaron asked his mom, as a two year old, asking when his penis would become a vagina. At the age of three, a doctor held up male and female dolls. Jaron said he had a boy body but wanted to be a girl. He wasn't happy being a boy.

Jeanette told us that she struggled with Jazz's feelings, but when Jazz made it clear that she loved her hair in pigtails, Jeanette had to accept that Jazz is transgendered. We also saw that Jazz's grandparents came to accept her as Jazz, even though it was difficult.

While this show is well done (which is great, considering some of the terrible reality shows on TV these days), there are more important factors to this show. This show portrays a family that truly accepts their child for who she is. They accepted, at a young age, that Jaron was no longer Jaron - she was Jazz.

There's also the fact that this show tells us what a transgender child will go through, emotionally, hormonally and medically. It's not as simple as a transgendered person saying that they want to be male or female; there's a lot of hormone therapy that goes into this change.

We learn about the struggles that Jazz faces. For example, she has to wear shorts or a skirt over her bathing suit, because while she's a female at heart, she still has male genitalia. We also learn about Jazz's parents' struggles. For example, Jazz's mom makes sure that all of Jazz's friends' parents know that Jazz is transgendered before they hang out. It's tough because it makes Jazz continually aware that she's different, but it's important because parents may have reservations because of Jazz's situation.

Jazz Jennings deserves so much credit for starring in I Am Jazz and sharing her story. She's leading the way to show other transgendered kids that it's okay to be who you are and love yourself. I'm sure she knows she'll get a lot of flack for doing this show because not everybody is supportive of people like her. And she is giving up any chance of keeping her situation private. But she is doing such wonderful things to show us that Jazz, a wonderful, fun, kind person who happens to be transgendered, is not just surviving - she's thriving. And now that she's helping to pave the way, others can follow in her footsteps.

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