It's been nine weeks since Jazz Jennings – who was born as a male but identifies as female – finished the last phase of her gender confirmation surgery.
After years of emotional struggles and persistence, the 18-year-old concluded what she calls, "the final step of transitioning" and fulfilled a lifelong dream.
The I Am Jazz reality star sat down for an interview with ABC on Monday and opened up about her personal journey.
Here's the full interview on ABC Nightline below.
'It was like a dream': Trans advocate Jazz Jennings on gender confirmation surgery www.youtube.com
Jazz Jennings is revealing that her recent gender confirmation surgery was not without its complications. https://t.co/ZfiLe7rTVx— USA TODAY Life (@USA TODAY Life)1539705631.0
"It was like a dream. It was," she told ABC News' Nightline co-anchor Juju Chang about her gender confirmation procedure. "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,"
The precocious teen is known as the youngest to identify as transgender and an advocate for the trans community. As an activist, she's tackled issues like gender neutral restrooms and the role of transgender teens in school sports.
@ABC Thanks for sharing your journey @JazzJennings__ ! You are an inspiration to so many. With the 30-50% suicide a… https://t.co/niCdzYzLBW— Elana Kostbar (@Elana Kostbar)1539694708.0
Jennings, who is from South Florida, continued:
"From the time I was six years old, I've been sharing my story. And you know at first I thought, 'Okay, this is all going to come to an end one day and then I'll be able to live my life.'"
"But more and more I realized that I was given this platform for a reason and that I have a strong and powerful voice,"
@ABC You go girl!— 🇺🇸🗽 𝙉𝙖𝙡𝙞𝙣𝙞 𝙎𝙞𝙣𝙜𝙝 (@🇺🇸🗽 𝙉𝙖𝙡𝙞𝙣𝙞 𝙎𝙞𝙣𝙜𝙝)1539669837.0
After years of taking hormone blockers and hormone therapy, the final step included a procedure that re-fashioned her male genitalia into a female equivalent.
It's something she's been dreaming of since she was 2-years-old.
"When I was 2 years old, I went up to my mom and asked her, 'When is the good fairy going to come with her magic wand and change my penis into a vagina?'"
However, not everything went smoothly as planned. The TLC star said there were complications during surgery that required a second procedure.
"There was just an unfortunate event and setback where things did come apart, and there was a complication."
"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."
"My life wasn't in danger. I had the guidance of two incredible surgeons, and they really just supported me throughout the entire process and took control over the matter."
@Nightline @JazzJennings__ @TLC This young lady is very impressive. And very secure within herself! #blessed with… https://t.co/Wsj2NxFAvT— Cheryl (@Cheryl)1539667065.0
When asked if leading a public life had its drawbacks, she said "it depends."
"I think for me, I've always been so honest about who I am as a person. And being transgender, I feel like it's something that I couldn't hide no matter what."
"Don't have to explain myself or the fact that I'm transgender to people who haven't met me before. So it's kind of-- I like that about being public."
@ABC I love this. I admire her so much. I never watched her show, but I have heard about this girl quite a few time… https://t.co/i6kXC8azqH— Aaron (@Aaron)1539669388.0
@Nightline @JazzJennings__ @TLC More people are understanding now because of Jazz. She's an awesome girl!— Nicole Gonnella (@Nicole Gonnella)1539649480.0
"I've been criticized for sharing too much information, and yeah, it is personal and uncomfortable for some individuals. But how are we going to learn if someone doesn't step up to the plate and share their story and personal details."
@Nightline @Griffen44 @JazzJennings__ @TLC It has been so awesome watching Jazz grow up over the years, and I am so… https://t.co/DeSaRCFLYz— TheRevolutionStartsNOW (@TheRevolutionStartsNOW)1539653888.0
Jennings is currently in her senior year of high school. With her transformation now behind her, she hopes to inspire a new generation of trans girls wanting to undergo gender confirmation surgery.
With college around the corner, she's contemplating pursuing degrees sociology and gender studies. Her future is already looking brighter than ever.
"This is really the last thing that will validate my identity as a woman. There is nothing else after this. I just get to be myself, be in the body that I've always wanted. And then I can live my life as just Jazz."
I Am Jazz is returning for a fifth season and will begin airing Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019.