While Jazz Jennings has been taking a hiatus from her TLC series, I Am Jazz, the transgender teen has still been keeping busy. Beyond her school activities, Jazz reveals she has been working on a new book, this one a memoir that the I Am Jazz star hopes will speak to straight and cisgender individuals, as well as to transgender teens and those within the LGBT community.
I Am Jazz Star Jazz Jennings Wants To Share Her Innermost Thoughts With YouJazz, who is just shy of her 16th birthday, says that her memoir, which is to be titled Being Jazz: My Life As a (Transgender) Teen, will be much more than the thoughts of a transgender teen as has been the case with her last book, I Am Jazz, and the similarly named TLC television series. Instead, Jennings' goal with her second book is to show the world that she's as normal as anyone, experiencing life just as any teenager.
"This book reveals many rarely shared memories from my past that have molded me into the teenager I am today," 15-year-old Jennings says. "I hope that my challenges and triumphs will resonate with readers of all ages, whether they are transgender or not."
When I Am Jazz premiered, an interviewer, heard but not seen, asked Jazz how she saw herself, what kind of person she thought she was, and Ms. Jennings answered honestly and boldly, sounding like any teenager.
"I am a teenage girl," said Jazz. "I'm also a soccer player. I'm also an artist. I'd like to think I'm funny …" After listing off a few other facts about herself, Jazz stopped and added just one last thing with the conviction of someone who has worked hard to achieve a dream. "I'm also transgender. And I'm proud of that."
The book will, in fact, explore Jazz's transition from male to female because that also is a part of who she is as a person. Seeking to encompass all that Ms. Jennings is up to this point, Being Jazz: My Life As a (Transgender) Teen will discuss Jennings identifying as female as early as her toddler years, even though she was born male. Jazz began transitioning from male to female at the age of five with the full support of her parents.
Jazz Jennings Reveals That Dating Is Still A Problem For HerWhile Jazz may be making her place in the world and leading the way for future generations of transgender teens, she confessed to Oprah Winfrey on Where Are They Now? that not all aspects of her life are running smoothly. Jennings told Oprah that she's struggling with dating, confessing that none of the boys in her school are willing to date her out of fear. Jazz says boys her age are concerned that they will be labeled as gay if they date her.
"For the most part boys aren't really accepting of me because I am transgender and therefore not many guys have crushes on me at my school," said Ms. Jennings. "They think if they like me they will be called gay by their friends because they like another 'boy.'"
Jazz says she's not very concerned by that situation just yet. She's still young and feels pretty laid back about dating in general. While many girls Jazz's age may be overly concerned with the pressures associated with dating, Jennings has her television series and her books to keep her busy.
"I just go with the flow and see what happens," Jennings said to Winfrey. "If boys like me and I like them back then yeah, it will happen."
I Am Jazz will return later this year on TLC.
[Image by Mike Windle/Getty Images for WE Day]