Jazz’s story helps give other teens strength

Herald Sun - Switched On - - ON THE COUCH - HOLLY BYRNES NA­TIONAL TV WRITER

Be­fore there was Cait­lyn Jen­ner, trans­gen­der teenager Jazz Jen­nings was liv­ing her re­al­ity and in­spir­ing a new gen­er­a­tion with her story.

Us­ing the tools of her time, the 14-year-old ed­u­cated mil­lions about com­ing out and grow­ing up with the added strug­gles as­so­ci­ated with her sex­ual iden­tity.

Draw­ing a global YouTube au­di­ence of up to 1.7 mil­lion for some of f her post­ings, Jen­ningss and her fam­ily (pic­tured ed right) now have a re­al­ity TV show, I Am Jazz. z.

Speak­ing to Switched witched On, Jen­nings said while the pub­lic spot­lightht has “made me feel awk­ward kward at times, when I see thehe dif­fer­ence my fam­ily ily and I are making in the com­mu­nity, when peo­ple wri­tee you mes­sages to say you’ve ou’ve changed their lives or some­tim some­times even saved their lives, tha that’s so in­cred­i­ble and rewa re­ward­ing.” In the new serie se­ries, Jen­nings’ mother Jean­net­teJeanne ex­plains how her dau daugh­ter suf­fered as a child, aware fro from the age of three she was born a boy but iden­ti­fied as the o op­po­site sex. It was pho­tos from a balle bal­let class, when Jazz looked strick stricken be­cause she w was not al­lowe al­lowed to wear a tutu lik like the other girls, wh which prompte prompted the fam­ily to seek hel help. Since then, the Jen Jen­nings clan have thrown th their arms around her.

But the resp re­spon­si­bil­ity to

‘When I see the dif­fer­ence my fam­ily and I are making in the com­mu­nity ... that’s so in­cred­i­ble’

sup­port other chil­dren like Jen­nings can weigh heav­ily at times.

“There are mo­ments I do feel stressed out. Of course you want to do all you can do to help them, but really, it’s also about them tak­ing the mat­ter into their own hands and find­ing the strength to keep mov­ing on,” Jen­nings says.

JAZZ JEN­NINGS ON HELP­ING OTH­ERS

I AM JAZZ, TLC, THURS­DAY, 9.30PM

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