It’s been a long road for Jazz Jennings, and life wasn’t always come easy.
The 18-year-old recently sat down for an interview with Nightline, where she talked about her dream of becoming a female. Jennings told ABC News correspondent Juju Chang that she would ask her mother when the good fairy was going to come and change her into a female — something that she had always wanted. It was in June of this past year that Jazz got her wish, undergoing gender confirmation surgery to change her male genitalia to female genitalia.
“It was like a dream. It was. This is a moment that I had always envisioned and just experiencing it was so surreal. I was like I can’t believe this is happening.”
But in the final step of her transition, Jazz suffered a small hiccup.
“There was just an unfortunate event and setback where things did come apart, and there was a complication,” the teen recalled. “I had to come back in for another procedure, but it was just all part of the journey. The good thing though is that it was only cosmetic and external so it wasn’t too dramatic.”
Jazz then went on to explain that the complications were caused by hormone blockers that she is on. However, the 18-year-old confessed that she doesn’t regret being on them because they “saved her life,” even though they did end up causing the surgery to suffer a small complication.
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can you tell i’m happy to be 18? my birthday was great today!!???? i had the amazing opportunity of flying out to LA to join the @Dove #GirlCollective as a part of their Self-Esteem Project???? i spoke on a panel with several incredible women and then did a Masterclass with @loganlevkoff . having the chance to gather in a room full of loving, inspiring girls was an empowering experience. my mom then surprised me for dinner and we ate at a delicious french restaurant. it was so yummy???? i’m heading back home now, catch me at the airport✌????my day was magical???????????? . . p.s. thanks mom for being the greatest friend to spend my day with❤️ @gnetluvsgreg
“But the only, you know, downside to it was that I didn’t have enough growth down below. So there wasn’t enough tissue to work with when it came to the surgery,” Jennings recalled.
Jennings then explained that it was challenging to find a doctor — because her case was so complicated — but luckily, they were able to find an innovative new treatment to use the tissue that she did have in order to make a skin graft. As long as things are functional, Jazz says that is pretty much all that matters to her.
“And I want it to look somewhat pretty, just because it’s my body,” she said.
And now that she is nine weeks post operation, Jazz says that she is feeling good after the two procedures.
There is one thing that bugs her about being so open and honest about her gender reassignment — the haters. In particular, Jazz says that it really makes her mad when people allege that her parents forced her into gender reassignment, even though that is not the case.
“I really, really hate it. And hate’s a strong word. But I hate it when people are, like, ‘My parents abuse me into being transgender because they wanted another girl, not a boy.’ And no, that’s not how it was. This was all me. This is how I felt. And I was the one telling them that, ‘I’m a girl, I’m a girl,'” she shared.
You can catch I Am Jazz on TLC.