Transgender advocate Jazz Jennings on her teen years, her new book and equality

Katie Couric
Global Anchor

By Kaye Foley

Jazz Jennings — an award-winning activist, author, and reality star — has been sharing her experiences as a transgender girl since she was 6 years old. In her latest book, “Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen,” she tells her story from childhood to the start of her teen years. It’s out now, and Season 2 of her docuseries, “I Am Jazz,” premieres on TLC on June 8.

Yahoo Global News Anchor Katie Couric spoke with Jennings about her new projects.

“This book is geared more towards transgender teenagers who are struggling,” Jennings said. “I think being a teenager is a difficult journey in and of itself, but being transgender makes it that much harder. I’m there to help them realize you just have to love who you are no matter what and just stay authentic.”

When asked about North Carolina’s controversial HB2 — the so-called “bathroom bill” — she said, “So many transgender people in the community are being covered with this umbrella of misconception that we are going to hurt someone. But we are not trying to hurt anyone. This is hurting us. We’re just trying to use the bathroom.”

“This is about equal rights now,” Jennings continued. “We are being discriminated against. The transgender community is being discriminated against. And it is unfair. It is cruel, and it’s not okay.”

On the topic of transgender awareness, Jennings said, “I think with all of the visibility that is out there nowadays, things are definitely changing. There have been some setbacks, but overall I see the progress. I see the change occurring. I know that one day all transgender individuals will have the freedom to be who they are, no matter what. And we won’t have to face the cruel judgments of society. We can just live our lives and be treated and respected like everyone else.”

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