Jazz Jennings Opens Up About Her Gender Confirmation Surgery, And The Complication She Experienced
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 surgerywww.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.
No one wants to be alone.
But that doesn't mean we should settle when it comes to choosing a romantic partner.
When people rush into things without letting love flourish, it could lead to problems down the line that can inevitably lead to difficult breakups.
Those who've learned this the hard way shared their experiences with love when Redditorlastknownstar asked:
"What common mistakes do people make when choosing a life partner?"
Communication is key.
Discussing Life Issues
"Not discussing big life issues: your preference for having kids, parenting styles, deep religious beliefs, career aspirations, significant traumas…anything that may affect how you make decisions together later on."
"My parents were like this. Dad grew up in a standard midcentury 'men run the house, women stay in the kitchen' family, but Mom came from a long line of domineering southern matriarchs who had their husbands whipped. Dad was naturally a good cook and Mom hated cooking, but once they got married, Dad insisted she make all the food because that's what wives are supposed to do. No warning, total 180 on their relationship up to that point."
"He's learned his lesson and now happily cooks for my stepmom, but man... That's not something you can just spring on your new spouse overnight!"
What About Kids
"Having kids is a really big question that absolutely needs to be communicated. I've also heard that it's a topic that would make the man a big red flag if asked early into the 'relationship' as in first date and/or texts are off limits."
"Wouldnt it be a lot nicer to 'speed date' these big topics early on?"
These Redditors realized ignorance of financial responsibility in a relationship came at a cost.
"Finance is the number 1 leading cause of divorce."
"Edit: this popped up in my YouTube recommendation (Is your relationship struggling because of finance? - Dave Ramsey https://youtu.be/XuU7oabGqjk). Google is not monitoring us or anything"
"This is such a big issue in relationships. Knowing each other's spending habits is equally important. My ex would be extremely judgmental when it came to my 'fun money', but when he bought a new TV or a new gaming console, he was not to be questioned on it."
You can't change people.
Fixing Their Flaws
"Thinking, 'I know this person has flaws, but when we're married I can help fix them.'"
"Ok marriage isn’t working but if we have kids things will change because it will bring us closer."
"I personally had this issue dating someone who was as sweet as could be, but not the brightest bulb in the socket, and they relied on me for knowledge on everything from health to history to housework. All perfectly googleable or troubleshootable questions, but always defaulted to giving up and asking
mommy the girlfriend for help. Admittedly it was kind of an ego boost to have someone always telling me how smart I was and deferring to my judgement on everything, but that's not what a healthy romantic relationship should be like."
"I thought I could nudge them gently into being slightly more self sufficient, but it only got worse as they grew accustomed to relying on me for every little thing. And of course the flip side was I felt like I could never rely on them when I needed help... I knew I was SOL if I couldn't do everything myself, because I was dragging around a parasite instead of a partner."
"Next time I want to spend years working on a fixer-upper, I'm just going to buy a crumbling Victorian house. It'll cause me less stress in the long run."
Taking An Emotional Toll
"I was in a similar boat with an ex, wasn't so much her fault as she had a learning disability and epilepsy."
"Every other weekend we also looked after her kids from past relationships, one of which had autism, and due to my ex's condition she wasn't allowed to be on her own with the kids meaning I had to be there as the capable, responsible adult."
"We were together for just shy of 4 years."
"After she broke things off it took a good few months for me to get used to the fact that I could actually let my guard down, switch my brain off and relax. Without needing to constantly worry that someone would need my help or that I needed to ensure her safety."
"She didn't quite realise the toll it was having on me or the amount of responsibility was on my shoulders. She would constantly suggest things like holidays abroad with just us two and the kids, and all I could think was that it would be far from a relaxing holiday for me as I'd have her and two kids to look after and be responsible for the entire time."
Managing expectations is key.
"Choosing someone they think they should be with instead of someone they're actually compatible with."
"I feel a lot of people have a picture in their head of who they think they'll end up with and chase that ideal, instead of acknowledging their own personality and aiming for someone compatible with that. Easier said than done, but yeah."
– Viminia7 ·
Importance Of Value
"I talk with my partner about this all the time. We think its important to have shared values not shared interests."
"Yes it’s important to share things you both like to do, but just because your partner likes One Punch Man, like you do, doesn’t mean they are on the same page as you with resolving conflicts."
Elvis Presley reminded us that only fools rush in, despite his intense romantic feelings towards his object of affection.
But the wise men he was referring to were on to something.
It's best to ease into things and let love grow, and not force relationships without really getting to know the person with whom you plan to devote yourself to.
If it's meant to be, it'll be worth taking things slow by getting to know a prospective significant other's dreams, what makes them, and their values to see if there is enough chemistry to develop meaningful relationships.
Among the many reasons people watch, and rewatch, sitcoms is to imagine your life was more like the one you were watching.
Being able to afford a two-bedroom apartment in Greenwich Village on a line cook's salary, somehow always having the comfortable sofa available at your favorite coffee shop whenever you pop in, or having your best friends always available at your beck and call whenever you need them.
For the romantics, however, it's wishing you could have a romance like you've seen on television.
True not all sitcom romances are exactly the sort that makes you go all aflutter (Were Ross and Rachel actually on a break? And don't even get me started about Ted and Robin.)
Other sitcom couples are so captivating, though, that we would have given anything to be at their wedding... or at the very least go to their home for dinner every Friday.
And this includes plutonic couples, as there is nothing more heartwarming than a lasting friendship.
"What is the best couple in sitcom history?"
Creating An Even More Welcoming Community
"Troy and Abed. A couple of friends."- aghzombies
"They did grace the cover of Best Friends Weekly."- DwightsEgo
"Peralta and Doug Judy."- DavosLostFingers
"Reunited and it feels so good 🎶."- Ghostenx
"PSYCH"!... No, Seriously...
"Shawn Spencer and Burton Guster."- dazedcap
"'I'm Black, he's Tan'."- CrueGuyRobShawn Spencer What GIFGiphy
"The correct answer is Gomez and Morticia Addams."- Reddit
"They loved each other dearly. "
"They were completely enamored with each other, spent time with their kids, their family."
"Accepted everyone as they were."
"It wasn't til I was an adult That I realized married couples weren't meant to hate each other."
"My mother had many partners in my childhood, she's toxic and things were always chaotic."
"And watching 90s sitcoms, I thought married people were meant to hate each other, and I always wondered what the point was."- MissMurder8666
Overshadowed By Their Middle Child...
"Hal and Lois."- MrRocketman999
"As a husband, I don't think I can live up to Hal."
"He sort of sets a really high standard lol."
"He loves her like they are still in the honeymoon phase."
"So infatuated with her lol."- treathugger
A Better Couple? Many Would Say, "Knope"...
"Ben and Leslie."
"I' love you and I like you.'"
"Simple line, yet so powerful."- RadkeyooAmy Poehler Ben GIF by Parks and RecreationGiphy
"Gruesome", But Adorable
"Frank and Charlie from Always Sunny in Philadelphia."
"The gruesome twosome."- Herr_Poopypants
The Parents Everyone Wished Were Theirs...
"Bob and Linda from 'Bobs burgers'."- shashybaws
"All of the Belchers have such great relationships with each other. "
"They're wholly accepting and supportive (even if they disagree)."
"They really love each other, and it shows."- SummerOfMayhem
UK Version Only, Of Course...
"Moss and Roy (The IT Crowd)."- pentapotamia
"'I'm your wife, Roy!'"- Summerof5ft6andahalf
"'If anything, I’m the husband!'"- pentapotamiait crowd chris odowd GIFGiphy
Afterlife Be Damned... Or not, Actually...
"Eleanor and Chidi from 'The Good Place.'"
"How can you beat two deeply flawed people who together make each other better over and over again?"- hotbimess
Ruining All Food For Viewers, One Food Group At A Time...
"The only correct answer is - Scully and Hitchcock."- Prestigious-Net-2236
"Back off! It's our microwave! Ours! GRRRRRRR!"- Lvcivs2311
Nostalgic And Wonderful
"Kitty and Red from That 70s/90s Show."- saginator5000
"I like how Red on the surface seems like a mean parent who doesn’t let his kids have fun."
"But he’s watching out for his kids."
"And he’s a good man."
"He has a hard and stressful time supporting his family and he is grumpy sometimes but he would do anything for his family and he really loves them."
"What he does for Hyde is amazing."
"He just doesn’t put up with BS."- themanfromvulcanMothers Day Woman GIF by LaffGiphy
It Seems Everyone Is Better With Turk At Their Side
"Turk and Carla."
"Or Turk and JD. (Scrubs)."- JCBAwesomist
"Turk and JD all the way."- nunyabidnez76
Can't We Get Back What We Once Had?...
"Homer and Marge had a lot of beautiful moments back in the older seasons."
"Sadly, seasonal rot has ruined a lot of that."
"I miss a lot of how the characters used to be."
"Like, Homer was an oaf and a brute, but he loved his family immensely and deeply and would (and DID) do any and everything for them."
"He'd catch details like in that episode about the streetcar play that you wouldn't think he would."
"He gave up beer for a month for Marge and we got to see that, for him, it wasn't just a minor thing."
'Lisa might have been intelligent but she not only had ample 'dumb/shallow' moments, she also was very close to Bart and, likewise, Bart was close to her."
"He might struggle in school but he also showed he wasn't dumb either."- Snowtwohomer simpson love GIFGiphy
Be they married in the first episode or on and off again for an insufferable amount of time (looking at you, Jeanine and Gregory in Abbott Elementry!), sitcom couples give us people to root for and fill our own hearts with hope.
So much so that we don't mind following the arc of their love stories over and over again.
And yes, the episode where David meets Patrick's parents remains a tearjerker, no matter how many times you watch it.
As an editor, I am not just in charge of proofreading and correcting style and format. I am also in charge of making sure all the contact information provided, such as phone numbers and emails, work.
After working for 10 hours straight a few months ago, I forgot to check the phone numbers and let a brochure go to publication with a phone number that did not work.
Luckily, a similar mistake had actually happened before with another editor for another client a year prior, so contact info on print materials like this brochure were checked by every department rather than just editorial, and the mistake was caught.
Since I didn't know this, when I heard the phone number was wrong, my heart dropped to my stomach and I thought I was sure fired. Luckily, I was just told to make sure this never happens again. I was relived that there was no fallout, but when I first heard what happened, my only thought was. 'I totally f**ked up!'
Redditors are no strangers to this feeling, as they've made egregious mistakes themselves. They are only too eager to share their experiences.
It all started when Redditor Puzzled_Assistant_ asked:
"What was your "I f**ked up" moment?"
"I managed to destroy a $4k piece of test equipment by connecting the wrong leads. For the briefest of moments the screen showed an overvoltage warning... That's when I knew."
Let's Write It Off
"If it makes you feel better my husband bought a bit of software to test and forgot to cancel it. A year later and 70k he had to fess up to his boss. Luckily his boss said don't worry I'll spin it as efficiency savings..."
"He is usually a massive d*ck so I can only presume it saved his a*se too. There was a lot of anxiety in my house when my husband realises so very grateful for how it turned out."
"I threw away a cashier's check for $50,000. I didn't think it would be a big deal, didn't understand the difference between a cashier's check and a regular check. We had thrown the trash in the dumpster at work, so my dad and I went down around midnight and tore open all the garbage bags in the dumpster before we found it."
Five Second Rule?
"I worked in a commercial kitchen. I had just finished making and plating hundreds of deviled eggs. As I moved them into the walk -in, the cart wheels caught on the lip and sent ALL OF THEM straight on the floor."
"Edit. Forgot to mention, this was the first day with the new head chef"
"I was carrying a huge tray of Mac and cheese for dinner for 62 people (besides some salad the only dinner) and spilled all of it on the floor with everyone waiting in line watching me, plates in their hand waiting for food to arrive."
Ouch, Ouch, Ouch!
"Used to downhill skate pretty regularly, took my time and had some safe spots away from traffic. Took a tumble once and popped up on my feet but my right leg crumbled. Looked down and my right foot was doinked 90⁰ to the left. "I done f**ked up" was running through my head 100x every second for weeks"
"Almost happened to me, no helmet and smacked the pavement. Broke my skull but miraculously survived, 4 days bleeding out my ear in the hospital, 6 weeks of triple vision, years of recovery but I have very few ongoing issues. That was my “I f**ked up” moment, boy did I get lucky"
"Edit: since I’ve had several questions about the triple vision I’ll elaborate. I don’t understand why or how it worked but I was seeing 3 of everything. Neurologists told me my eyesight could go back to normal in a couple weeks, months, or maybe even a year. They said after a year if it hadn’t gone back to normal then it would most likely be permanent. It was lucky this happened when I was 19 because my brain was still developing so it was able to create new connections. If it had happened 10 years later then the damage certainly would have been permanent"
"My first marriage. First day of the honeymoon. We are at a nice sightseeing spot. I take a photo of him in front of a memorial. After taking the photo, I say: “Oh, I think I cut of your feet in that shot.” He throws a total fit about it. That’s when I realized, I f**ked up marrying him."
"I stuck it out eight years with him. I don’t take my promises lightly, so I tried to make things work one way or another. Eventually, I realized that ‘till death do us part’ could be some fifty or sixty years more of this and I filed for divorce. One of the better decisions in my life."
Take As Instructed
"I was a lead in a play for a theatre company, came down with an intense cough, decided to see a doctor, they prescribed me a cough suppressant, I figured if the recommended dose worked then more than the recommended dose would work even better. Drank half a bottle of DXM syrup two hours before going on stage and accidentally had an out of body experience in front of a full house. I was young, naive and very high. Director wasn’t too happy about it."
Follow The Recipe
"Let's go back to my first kitchen job. I was a prep cook for a bakery / coffee shop. One morning, I was making cinnamon rolls and following the recipe, or so I thought."
"I pull my first batch of 30 out of the oven, and the owner comes by for a taste. She takes one bite, spits it out? And asks me what my process was. I told her I doubled the recipe as she requested, so you know 14 TBSP of cinnamon. Problem!!!! That number I thought was a 7, was in fact a 1."
"This is only tangentially similar but when I was in like 8th grade I tried to treat my parents by making meatloaf. We were eating and they said it tasted weird and asked what I put in it. I listed off the ingredients including garlic, and they asked where I got the garlic. Well, from the shelf at the bottom of the pantry of course!"
"It was not garlic. It was tulip bulbs."
"That was the day I learned tulip bulbs can be poisonous if consumed 😀 we were all okay tho. Just me being a silly goose."
Time To Get Rid Of It
"I decided to scrape out old, stale brownies that had hardened to the pan with a knife."
"The thought flicked through my mind a fraction of a second before the knife slipped out of the pan and plunged into the center of my palm."
"Side note: after that, the knife was always darker where it had been inside my hand. Anyone know why?"
"Another side note: 5 years later, guy broke in my house and tried to kill me with that very same knife!"
"This was quite the rollercoaster read"
"This is like final destination! Get rid of that knife!!!"
"He escaped with it, so it’s no longer my burden to bear."
"I f**ked up. I locked myself in an empty jail."
"I was reviewing a jobsite at 5pm on a Friday, and I was the last guy there. My cell phone had just ran out of battery. It was a new county courthouse in the USA and it was nearly complete. I was checking door functionality, mechanical function only. The whole building had electric security on each door but it was turned off. I had a master keycard and an actual door key to override the door locks, just incase. At one point I mindlessly walked into a side chamber of the main courtroom. I realize it’s the detainee lobby. As I turn back I hear the door click shut. I tried the electric keycard that I had. It didn’t work because no electric 😤. I tried the regular key that I had, and the lock didn’t work properly. I tried again. Nothing. And again, nothing. And again a few more times. It still doesn’t work."
"I bang on the door and shout for help for a few minutes. It’s useless, no one’s there. I try the door lock a few more times. It doesn’t work. There is approximately 62 hours until anyone was supposed to be at the jobsite again."
"I f**ked up."
"I didn’t want to but I ended up kicking the door and after a few minutes it broke. It broke around the lock with the lock staying connected to the frame, 😆. Everyone laughed at me on Monday."
"Edit: the door between the detainee lobby and the courtroom was a heavy solid wood door and not as secure as the detainee cell doors. That’s because the policy was always to have a sheriff with the detainee when in that room."
"Step 1: go make lemonade in the 5 liter tank, it was summer and there were 6 of us in the house so we needed it"
"Step 2: the sugar and the salt are in two identical containers"
"Step 3: regret existing"
Such a simple (and rather common) mistake, but still one the most horrible!
With the world's finances the way they are, it's a miracle if people can save their spare change.
Inflation has a stronghold on too many people.
Sometimes it feels like just breathing can cost you money.
It's hard to make and absurdly easy to lose.
So be vigilant with your wallet.
And try to spend on certain things in moderation.
Going out for meals three times a day adds up.
Even with Wendy's value menu.
Redditor gejiw94601 wanted to compare notes on how money can slip away so easily, so they asked:
"What's the biggest waste of money?"
Money is so easy to lose.
Just ask my best friend... vodka.
WHY?!Idiot Facepalm GIFGiphy
"Donating to rich Twitch streamers. I’ll probably never understand why people do it."
"I remember watching one guy drop $60k to Ninja. I was making 30k a year at the time, this guy drop double my salary in one stream."
"Credit Card interest."
"When I first go a credit card I used it only when I was short on cash, but it ended up me throwing money at stupid things because I knew I had a credit card to fall back on if I needed it."
"Now I use my card for the points, and I pay it off about every two weeks. While I'm still not great at adulting, at least I figured out this part."
What about Florida?
"The $50 scratch-off lottery tickets you can buy in Iowa."
"I used to work for the VA lottery. I got to see the numbers, the payout was only about 20% (if that) of profit for scratch-offs. Slightly higher for the draw games. But print-n-play was almost 1-1 for payout vs profit. Don't know how it is now or how other state's payout margins are, but print-n-play is where it's at if you're gonna play anything."
Always Upgradeadopt for sale GIF by Boomerang OfficialGiphy
"Buying cheap crap you have to replace."
"My dad once told me to not spend excessive money on tools at first. Buy them for dirt cheap, and learn which tools you really need. And when they break: replace them with quality ones. Buying pro-grade stuff you don't need is wasted money."
Spending a little extra can go a long way.
Cheap doesn't often equal quality.
FlexCostume Clothes GIF by Big Brother AustraliaGiphy
"Buying ridiculously expensive clothes to flex."
"Clothes are a two-way issue. Good clothes last a long time and the price is worth it for the comfort on top of that. But some clothes are 100x the price and 1/10th the quality. So there is a fine line here."
Pay to Lose
"Pay to win games."
"I played a lot of mobile games with in-game currencies. I have never spent a cent on these games. Why would I spend hundreds of dollars if I can enjoy the game and learn how to play even if it's slow? And many items don't even help you at the game. It's just skins or titles that only show other players how stupid you were to pay for a free app."
"Gold Food, or more accurately food that is covered in something called gold leaf. In my eyes, food is worth buying if they provide a great amount of nutrition for considerably good prices. After all, you probably avoid paying 50 million dollars just to buy a few molecules that are useless to your health and needs."
"And then there's gold leaf food, sure the food looks fancy but at the cost of a ludicrous amount of money! And with the gold having no usable nutrients at all, it is just not worth it to buy such expensive food for a relatively small amount of nutrients."
"For instance, Industry Kitchen (hopefully that's the name of the place) in NYC serves a pizza with a gold leaf covering for a whopping price of $2000. While at my home country which is Indonesia, Domino's serves an American Classic Cheeseburger Pizza (IDK that's a thing) which is the most expensive pizza I could find on the website costs around $7 which is just baffling to me."
"Fireworks, I love them, but it's like $50 per second for the good ones."
"Yeah, I end up spending probably $300 each summer buying fountains and batteries and helicopters and cardboard tanks and sh*t--none of the big professional skyrockets. It's absurd, I'll be the first to admit."
"But it's fun!"
"Crazy expensive day. Guaranteed at least one relative will kick up a stink. Massive pressure to be The Happiest Day of Your Life. Everything doubles in cost if you say it's for a wedding (dress, suit, cake, venue) Just do the quick registry office paperwork, have a surprise party, and run away for a long honeymoon with the money you saved."
Roll of the DiceCard Game Poker GIFGiphy
"Gambling for sure."
"I live in a small town where a casino is the big attraction They've had numerous people crap and pee themselves because they didn't wanna get up from the slots because 'it's just about to pay out.'"
Gambling is the greatest way to lose money.
Addiction will take everything if you let it.