Jazz Jennings show: In her best interest?

By Jillian Page
LGBT Perspectives editor

MONTREAL — Does it surprise anyone that Jazz Jennings is the recipient of transphobic comments? After all, whenever the mainstream media do an article about a transgender person and leave the comments sections open for readers, the vast majority of responses are often transphobic.

So now there are reports that Jazz Jennings, the 14-year-old trans girl featured on the reality-TV show I Am Jazz, has been the recipient of transphobic comments and threats, and that she receives them daily. As Cosmopolitan points out, “this is just another normal part of her day, like doing homework or studying for a test. That is absolutely heartbreaking.”

Heartbreaking or not, the show must go on, Jazz and others feel, apparently. No doubt, she is a courageous young person full of idealism, as teens are prone to be. And it is surely exciting to be a star/celebrity at such a young age, yes?

But what about her mom and dad?  How do they feel about their daughter being threatened? Well, a People article previewing an episode of the show that talks about the threats has this: “Later on in the episode, the death threats cause Jazz’s mom Jeanette to wonder if the family has acted in her daughter’s best interest by sharing her story with the world.”

Hmm . . . I gotta wonder: how would the vast majority of parents deal with insults and threats against their child, whether he or she is trans or not? On the one hand, no one wants to let the bigots win. On the other, the health and safety of a child is paramount.

And then, of course, there is the money . . . But surely no one is exploiting Jazz for cash, are they?

If you were  Jazz’s mother or father, what would you do?

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“Let harmlessness be the keynote of your life.” — Alice Bailey

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6 thoughts on “Jazz Jennings show: In her best interest?”

  1. I finally watched an episode of “I am Jazz” (I don’t have cable, so I watched on vacation in a hotel.)

    Maybe I’m ornery, but I really don’t like so-called “reality shows”. While I admire Jazz Jennings and her family, I think the show is a bit exploitative. Jazz is very young and pushing fame on her at this stage in her life is very stressful and could have long-term negative consequences. I would far rather have seen a traditional documentary-format show about Jazz than a reality show. I can’t help but feel that the reality show will leave Jazz and her family with tensions they never had before the show.

    I have not yet seen “I am Cait” and don’t really want to… see comments about “reality shows” above. But at least Caitlyn Jennings is an adult and able to decide for herself whether or not to accept the burden of fame.

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    1. You know Dianne, we are all entitled to our opinions. I don’t watch reality shows either, but I watch this one, I have been following Jazz since she was 7, I use her as an example when I speak at collages for PFLAG, she is doing alot of good for young transgender children.

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      1. As Jillian alludes to… I do not think it’s in Jazz’s best interests to be the star of a reality show at such a tender age. It’s wonderful what she’s doing for other transgender children, but I would hate for it to be at the expense of her own wellbeing.

        From what I saw on the show, she seems like a sensible and grounded person, so maybe my concerns are not warranted. I hope so.

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        1. Read many comments that people do not think we can tell our gender at 2-4 years old, as Jazz knew at 2 or before. I did at three because I saw my sister as a new baby the month after my 3rd birthday. I realized the difference. Jazz is more an Adult than many adults. She is a very articulate speaker and a significant representative of Our Trans Community. The young Lady handles herself very well along with a very supportive family.

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