Jazz Jennings

Monday, June 27, 2016 -
8:30am to 9:30am
Jazz

Jazz Jennings is one of the youngest and most prominent voices in the national discussion about gender identity. At the age of five and with the support of her parents, she transitioned to life as a girl. A year later, her first Barbara Walters interview aired, at a time when the public was much less knowledgeable or accepting of the transgender community. This groundbreaking interview was followed over the years by other high-profile interviews, a documentary, the launch of her YouTube channel, a picture book, and her own reality TV series—I Am Jazz—making her one of the most recognizable activists for transgender teens, children, and adults.

In her remarkable memoir, Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen, (June, 2016), Jennings reflects on these very public experiences and how they have helped shape mainstream attitudes toward the transgender community. She has faced challenges, bullying, discrimination, and rejection, yet perseveres as she educates others about her life as a transgender teen and learns to navigate the physical, social, and emotional upheavals of adolescence—particularly high school—complicated by the unique challenges of being transgender. Making the journey from girl to woman is never easy—especially when you began your life in a boy’s body. Throughout, her family has supported her and stood against those who don't understand the true meaning of tolerance and unconditional love.

Jennings, who hosts a series of videos about her life on YouTube, was named to Time’s Most Influential Teens list two years in a row, was one of Huffington Post’s 14 Most Fearless Teens, and was the youngest person ever featured on Out’s Out 100, as well as on Advocate’s 40 Under 40 list. In 2014, she was named a Human Rights Campaign Youth Ambassador and received LogoTV’s Youth Trailblazer Award.

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