Jazz Jennings calls on people to ‘stop banning my book’ as his autobiography I Am Jazz continues to be banned from libraries nationwide.
The 21-year-old is a reality TV personality, author and LGBTQ rights advocate as her show TLC has documented her life as one of the youngest people to come out publicly as transgender. Now, as an adult, she continues to speak out about the discrimination she faces as a trans woman, particularly regarding the limitations placed on her book.
“My name is Jazz and I was assigned male at birth. At age 2, I expressed that I knew I was female. At age 5, I began my social transition. And today ‘today, despite my life as a proud trans woman, my children’s book I Am Jazz is banned nationwide,” she said in an Instagram video posted on Tuesday. “Lawmakers are banning the book for fear it recruits or brainwashes children into becoming LGBTQ+. It’s not. The book is about identity and it helps so many transgender youth to discover their personal identity and who they are and it helps families better support their transgender child and friends better support their transgender friend.”
Jennings co-wrote the book with Jesica Herthel and published it in 2014 when she was just 14 years old. It quickly proved controversial as it appeared on banned book lists. It even made its way to the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom’s Top 10 Banned and Disputed Books list in 2015 and was ranked 13th on the association’s list of the 100 most banned books or challenges of the decade, from 2010 to 2019.
When the list was released in 2020, Jennings told Yahoo Life it was “both disappointing and honorable” to be named.
“In a way it is heartbreaking to know that there is still so much stigma and controversy about a subject that has prevailed in our society, but at the same time there is a certain pride in knowing that the book is here and still making waves,” she said. “It’s another stepping stone to creating equality and ensuring that all people are respected and treated as equals, even those who are different .”
Today, she continues to fight to get there.
“LGBTQ+ people belong,” she said in her recent post. “Allowing us to share our stories creates a more inclusive and welcoming world for all.”
Jennings received praise in his comments section from fans who were delighted to hear him speak out on the matter.
“You are an amazing and beautiful human being. I am such a fan of you and your family. The support they have given you has been amazing and you have helped give hope to others going through a journey. to be authentic themselves,” one person wrote. “Please never give up trying to help people and also believe in yourself. You are so special Jazz.”
Her brother, Sander Jennings also shared his approval of the post.
“So proud of you, always!” he wrote. “LGBTQ+ stories like yours should be celebrated, not banned.”
Well-being, parenthood, body image and more: discover the who behind the whoo with the Yahoo Life newsletter. register here.