On the surface, I Am Jazz may seem like just another in a long line of reality shows, but the series, which centers on transgender teen Jazz Jennings, goes a long way to giving those outside the LGBT community an uncensored look into experiences most couldn’t even begin to comprehend. As much as I Am Jazz gives the rest of us a look inward, 14-year-old Jazz is getting a hard look outward.
In last week’s episode of I Am Jazz, Ms. Jennings was joined by her twin brothers, Sander and Griffin, as she scrolled through the comments on her YouTube channel. Jennings’ brothers are instantly impressed by the fact that Jazz has been viewed 150,000 times and has 400 comments, but their fascination fades as they realize that not all of Jazz’s visitors are supportive.
Some are more subtle in their judgments of Ms. Jennings.
“Do you have to shave yours legs more than once a day,” asks one user.
“That’s just weird,” says one brother and the trio laughs.
“Sad that the devil is tricking you into thinking you were meant to be a girl,” Jazz reads, as the humor of the situation fades. “You’re a boy and always will be male. ‘Cause an individual is a man. There is no such thing as transgender. That’s something that was made up to make homosexuality sound good and accepted.”
“Wow,” one of Jazz’s brothers says, clearly disturbed by the comment, before trying to grab the mouse from Ms. Jennings to protect her. “I think we’re done reading these.”
Jazz continues on anyway, proving that her bravery far outweighs public judgments about her, and stumbles upon the worst comment she has ever read.
“Someone please shoot it, if not I’m going to kill it myself and make it die a horrible, painful death.”
Jazz is shocked to read the comment, but her brothers seem far more disturbed to find that anyone, a complete stranger, would want to kill their sister.
“I didn’t think anyone could be so cruel, to say that they would shoot my sister,” Griffen said. “Like, that’s insane.”
The I Am Jazz star moves past the threat though, giving some of her own wisdom to her brothers as they find themselves faced with the darker side of mankind.
“If someone says something negative then their opinion shouldn’t even matter. Stay positive, love yourself and keep moving forward.”
As the week closed out and Jazz and her family moved forward into the coming week, Ms. Jennings was faced with new challenges, including the problems facing every teenager, like throwing a bash. In Jazz’s case, she faces new challenges there as well.
“I feel like if I tried to invite boys they wouldn’t come,” Jazz said.
Ms. Jennings had settled on the idea of throwing an all-girl party, until it was revealed that Jazz had, in fact, attracted the attention of a boy. In the coming episode, Jazz will learn that her secret admirer had asked for her phone number from a mutual friend with the boy mentioning how much Ms. Jennings had inspired him.
“You said you wanted a boy that would accept you, and he obviously accepts you,” the friend tells Jazz.
“It’s so weird cause I feel like I’ve almost been asking for this and now that I have it, I don’t know how it works,” the I Am Jazz star confesses.
Hang in there, Jazz. People can surprise you!
I Am Jazz airs Wednesdays on TLC.
[Featured image: Jazz Jennings courtesy of Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images]