When you were 12 years old, you probably weren’t on stage with actress Elle Fanning and “Glee” star Alex Newell at the 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards. But if your name is Jazz, that’s just another night in the whirlwind ride that is your life.
Jazz joined Fanning and Newell to call for more diversity and representation when it comes to LGBT youth in the media. In the video below, Jazz talks about why it’s so important to speak out in support of LGBT youth: “I just want them to know that it’s OK to step outside of your shadows and just be who you are. Just be true to yourself and express yourself because, after all, we are just kids, and all kids deserve to be happy.”
Jazz is a 12-year-old trans advocate who was the subject of the OWN documentary “I Am Jazz” and has been interviewed by Barbara Walters. She has been sharing her story in the media in hopes of building understanding of trans issues. Jazz was prevented from playing soccer on the girls’ team, and her story led to policy changes for all future trans players within the US Soccer Federation.
Even though, as Newell notes in the video, there were only two transgender character on TV this year, we also believe that “there are so many impactful stories from the trans community that we want everyone to experience.” She has had some pretty incredible experiences before, but Jazz said she was especially “honored to represent the voice of transgender children, many of whom are too afraid to speak on their own.” With that in mind, we asked Jazz to share her story about coming out as transgender, and she also shared some words of wisdom from Dr. Seuss and talked about meeting Bill Clinton AND Jennifer Lawrence. Check out our Q&A with Jazz after the video!