I recently read a book called “Being Jazz; My Life As A (Transgender) Teen” by Jazz Jennings. It is an autobiography about a child named Jaron who was born a boy, but at the age of 5 decided to transition to a girl. It is a very heartfelt and inspirational book. I would recommend you read it!
When Jaron (Jazz) was born and identified a male, he thought he was a female. He really wanted to be a girl like his older sister, Ari. When his mom would dress him like a boy, he would move to tears. he wasn’t happy being a boy because his heart wanted to be a girl. His parents struggled to make a decision but ultimately, they wanted their baby boy to be happy. So, on Jaron’s 5th birthday, Jaron would now present herself as a girl. Jaron was so happy that she could be the person she really wanted to be, but many people thought that her parents were making a mistake letting her be a girl, which became a community issue. However, a news station called 60 Minutes picked up the dispute and asked Jaron and her family to appear on the show and they agreed. The show brought the community awareness about Jaron’s situation and the LGBT community as a whole.
Although Jaron had brought awareness, there were still many issues. Jaron’s school placed restrictions on her entering the school washrooms and wearing ‘girl like clothing’. Through her parent’s desperate plea to the school principal to let Jaron wear the clothing she wanted and to be able to go to the girl’s washroom, they just would not let her. Jaron was also banned from her U9 travel soccer team because of her being transgender. Her father got deep into the problem, writing letters and visiting the state soccer agency to convince them to let his daughter play the sport she loved. This battle continued for over 2 years, but there was no luck. Because of Jaron (Now Jazz) deciding to be a girl, she was not accepted by society and faced bullying every day.
Jazz was motivated from the heartfelt letters her fans were sending her about how her interview on 60 Minutes, and how it helped them through society’s pressure. Her advocacy work has earned her many awards like the Times 25 Most Influential Teens in 2014, The Human Rights Campaign Student Ambassador, and the youngest person ever to be on the Advocate’s 40 Under 40 list. She continues to be a role model and paves the way for transgender youth across the world.
Even though I am not transgender, I could still connect with this book and Jazz’s struggles because I am different too. I am brown, and people are not always that accepting towards me. I was also bullied as a child about the way I look, and I had a hard time dealing with it. But I later realized that the color of my skin makes me who I am, and I am not hurt when people make fun of me about it. I am proud of the way I am, just like Jazz.