Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen by Jazz Jennings
4 out of 5 stars.
“Emotions are what make us able to connect on a very real level. I always tell people to live an authentic life, and being truly authentic means admitting that you can falter.”
Goodreads Description: Jazz Jennings is one of the youngest and most prominent voices in the national discussion about gender identity. At the age of five, Jazz transitioned to life as a girl, with the support of her parents. A year later, her parents allowed her to share her incredible journey in her first Barbara Walters interview, aired at a time when the public was much less knowledgeable or accepting of the transgender community. In her remarkable memoir, Jazz reflects on these very public experiences and how they have helped shape the mainstream attitude toward the transgender community. But it hasn’t all been easy. Jazz has faced many challenges, bullying, discrimination, and rejection, yet she perseveres as she educates others about her life as a transgender teen. Through it all, her family has been beside her on this journey, standing together against those who don’t understand the true meaning of tolerance and unconditional love. Now Jazz must learn to navigate the physical, social, and emotional upheavals of adolescence particularly high school complicated by the unique challenges of being a transgender teen. Making the journey from girl to woman is never easy especially when you began your life in a boy s body.
I actually watched the first half of season one of Jazz’s tv show on TLC and I thought it was really interesting getting a look into the life of Jazz and her family. I am actually a sucker for these kind of reality TV shows that TLC airs (Sister Wives, Leah Remini, etc.). Jazz was born a boy, but always knew since she was very little that she wanted to be a girl. I love that her family was (and still is) so supportive of her when even at a really young age she knew she was supposed to be a girl. They let her be who she wanted to be despite all the negative backlash they would get.
I don’t know what it’s like to be transgender, but I am sure that it is not easy at all. You are being judged, made fun of, and sometimes physically in danger. I’m sure it’s one of the scariest thing in the world and even more so if you don’t have the support system that Jazz has. I felt like Jazz’s book was very well written and it was nice to get a bigger glimpse into her life; her struggles with being transgender, adjusting to life as a girl, and having to deal with all the negativity. She’s only 15 and she’s in public high school and sometimes kids these days can be so cruel.
Jazz is pretty tough for her age and what she has to deal with day to day. I think she is such a strong person. She’s really confident in who she is and she’s happy with the way she is. I can see how the world has fallen in love with her, because she’s definitely someone that all transgender kids (and adults) can look up to. She’s in high school, making straight As, plays on the soccer team, and also makes time in her life to fight for transgender rights and equality. She’s done so much for being so young and I think she (and her family) will continue to do amazing for the LGBTQ community.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book and I highly recommend it. It’s thought provoking, insightful, happy, sad, and funny at times as well. Everyone deserves the right to be who they want to be without judgment.
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