Transgender at 11: Listening to Jazz | Video – ABC News

January 21, 2013


Transgender at 11: Listening to Jazz | Video – ABC News.

Jazz is an incredible kid.  I am so grateful to her family for allowing us to follow her story.

The transgender rights movement is in such a tricky place.  I am both happy and a bit worried about the coverage Jazz is receiving.  I’d hate for Jazz’s bravery to accidentally be interpreted as supporting the idea that being transgendered is earned by how much you “pass.” We must remember that Jazz is one of many brave faces.  She happens to have a lot of traditionally “girl” interests like dresses and sparkles and covering her room in pink.  That’s great!  But that’s just one way to be.  There is no “right” way to be transgendered.  At the end of the day, there is only the question of being yourself or being someone else.

This recent article by Riki Wilchins in The Advocate is a nice companion to Jazz’s story.

Just a side note for Barbara Walters – so you note a lot of transgender kids like mermaids?  Perhaps because a lot of KIDS like mermaids.  I’d prefer if you stuck with the reporting and dropped some of the psychoanalysis.  Lots of transgender kids also like pizza, and dogs, and soccer, and video games, and drawing, and laughing, and texting….  I don’t think we need to infer anything from any one preference.   But overall I enjoyed watching this interview.  Thanks for helping get the story out, Barbara!


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