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“Your scars are just as beautiful as the rest of you”: Wherever there’s Jazz Jennings going transgender, there’s also her mom, Jeanette Jennings, going transgender along with her

January 6, 2020
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Wherever there is Jazz Jennings, it seems, there is also Jeanette Jennings, Jazz Jennings’s mother.

The 19-year-old transgender celebrity moved yet one more time into the spotlight on New Year’s Eve–wearing a crimson one-piece bathing suit on Instagram that shows off to a T the upper-thigh scars from her “confirmation” surgery in 2018. “I call them my my battle wounds because they signify the strength and perseverance it took to finally complete my transition,” she wrote.

And sure enough, one of the very first commenters on the photo was 53-year-old Jeanette, who takes credit for discovering that her boy was actually a girl at age 2. According to the New York Post:

Jazz’s mother, Jeanette, responded to her most recent post with praise in the comments. “My sweet girl, you are the strongest and bravest of all the souls I’ve even known and I’m blessed to be your mom,” she wrote.

“Your scars are just as beautiful as you the rest of you. I love you with all that I am. You make me proud everyday,” she continued, adding three hearts to the end of her words.

Jeanette Jennings has been at Jazz’s side talking transition since, well, forever. Or at least since 2007, when, under the name “Renee” Jennings, she shepherded young Jazz, then age 6 and in kindergarten, through an interview with ABC’s Barbara Walters and revealed that Jazz was one of the youngest transgenders in America:

“We’ll say things like, ‘You’re special. God made you special.’ Because there aren’t very many little girls out there that have a penis,” said Renee.

That very year, 2007,  little Jazz started her own charitable foundation, TransKids Purple Rainbow Foundation, with some help, of course, from mom Jeanette and Jazz’s father, known variously as “Scott” and “Greg” Jennings.

By age 11 Jazz was on puberty blockers, with “her parents’ approval,” in the words of the New York Post, as a prelude to the massive doses of estrogen she started taking on entering high school at around age 14.

Also at age 11 she snagged a second interview with Barbara Walters where she talked “boys and dating, medicine and the ultimate surgery to become fully female.” In addition, she starred–along with Jeanette and Greg–in a TV documentary, I Am Jazz:

11 year old Jazz…and her family face a life-altering decision as the ebullient tween approaches puberty. Through extensive archival family footage and first-person interviews, Jazz and her family share their powerful personal story as they grapple with the possibility of hormone blocking therapy and issues related to fertility, discrimination and identity.

And by age 13–miracle of miracles!–she was a published author, of a children’s book titled,like the documentary, I Am Jazz, which was all about…herself. Cute illustrations by Shelagh McNicholas show Jazz sporting sequined dresses (one with a darling purple bra strap showing) and posing with–guess who?–yes, mom Jeanette and dad Greg.

In 2015 an all-grown-up Jazz began her five-season reality show, yet again titled I Am Jazz, which, as the years pass, homes in on that all-important “bottom” surgery (if you’re squeamish, don’t click the link, which includes the words “tissue-expander” and  “scrotum the size of a grapefruit”) to take place the minute she becomes a legal adult at age 18. Co-starring…Jeanette Jennings.

Meanwhile, Jazz Jennings has been accepted at Harvard, after dropping out of real high school (“stress” and “binge-eating”) to attend an online virtual high school.

She hasn’t gotten around to enrolling yet, but I hope that when she does, she’ll be able to rent a second dorm room–for Jeanette Jennings.

Posted by Charlotte Allen

From → Uncategorized

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