Jazz Jennings is campaigning to raise funds for a trans-positive movie, but the GoFundMe she’s promoting hasn’t received nearly as much money as the one that Duggar family member Derick Dillard created after he made transphobic remarks about her. Jazz’s GoFundMe is for a movie about the right of transgender people to use public restrooms that correspond with their gender identity.
As reported by Celebrity Insider, there’s been some speculation that the Duggar family’s TLC series, Counting On, is facing cancellation due to transphobic comments that Derick Dillard made about 17-year-old Jazz Jennings. Jennings is an LGBTQ activist who stars on I Am Jazz, another TLC series. Her show has been renewed for another season, and the teen is now hoping that she can make the move from reality TV to acting. She recently asked her Twitter followers to donate to a GoFundMe for Denim, a movie that she’s been cast in.
Denim is about how a transgender girl named Micayla is affected by the passage of a so-called “bathroom bill” that forces transgender people to use the public restrooms that correspond with the sexes they were assigned at birth.
“Micayla’s education is disrupted when new government regulations expose her past to her classmates,” reads the description of the movie. “With the help of her parents, Micayla struggles to gain her footing as she is forced to use the restroom of the gender identified on her birth certificate. This attracts the attention of her naive peers, who become aggressive, making it hard for Micayla to live as her authentic self.”
The Duggar family has actively campaigned against the right of transgender girls like Jazz Jennings to use the women’s restroom. As reported by ThinkProgress, Michelle Duggar equated transgender women to child molesters in a 2014 robocall against a Fayetteville, Arkansas anti-discrimination ordinance. One of the ordinance’s aims was to protect members of the transgender community by ensuring that no businesses would be allowed to prohibit them from using the public facilities that correspond to their gender identity. However, Duggar claimed that passing the ordinance would put women and children at risk.
After Derick Dillard made transphobic comments about Jazz Jennings on Twitter, TLC announced that it had decided to cut ties with the Duggar husband. The network has not made a similar move to distance itself from Michelle Duggar.
After Derick lost his Counting On gig, he began asking fans to send donations to him via GoFundMe. He used the online fundraising website to receive over $6,000, which he says will be used to cover his enrollment in a year-long ministry program. However, as reported by In Touch Weekly, some critics recently accused him of using donated money to pay for a date with his wife.
So far, the GoFundMe that Jazz Jennings is promoting has only reached $1,475 of its $8,000 fundraising goal. According to Denim writer/director Daryen Ru and co-producer Naomi Pandolfi, donations are needed to pay for the movie’s casting, set design, research, photo shoots, wardrobe design, and other pre-production costs.
“This film Denim is really special to me because this is something different,” says Jazz Jennings of appearing in the movie. “This is where I have a script, but it’s based on the experiences of so many trans youth.”
Fans of Jazz Jennings don’t have to wait until Denim gets completed to see her use her star power to make a difference. As previously reported by Inquisitr, I Am Jazz will return for another season on January 2 at 10 p.m. ET on TLC.