Jazz Jennings has spent most of her life on camera, sharing her story as a transgender teenager on the show i’m jazz. From her sanity to medical appointments, Jennings has remained open about her struggles along the way, and in the upcoming seventh season, the LGBTQ activist is candid about her weight.
“I think it’s just something that has become apparent. As people saw images of me heavier and I didn’t really discuss how I gained all that weight, why I gained weight, ”Jennings told Yahoo Life.
On June 19, Jennings shared a photo on Instagram that showed nearly 100 pounds weight gain in two years. She cites binge eating disorder as the cause and lets fans know they can follow her weight loss journey on the show. “I have the power to lose weight and I plan to share my progress with all of you,” Jennings wrote.
Last summer, Jennings posted a photo of herself wearing a swimsuit on the beach, after doctors suggested she lose weight before undergoing medical intervention. “That moment last year was really important because I was showing my scars from the surgery – gender confirming surgery. Because I had to have special surgery, they had to use additional skin grafts, so most people don’t have scars like this, but because of my special surgery i have these scars and i’m proud of it.
Although Jennings has gained weight since taking this photo, she assures fans that her focus on weight loss has little to do with vanity. She remains determined to live and eat better for her health, not her height. “I love myself and my body in all shapes and sizes that I am. You know, even being a taller girl now, I still love my body and I love being me,” Jennings says.
Sharing her personal journey in front of the cameras is second nature to Jennings, who started her reality show when she was just 14 years old. Since then, Jennings has become a national trans rights figure and has been featured as the youngest person to ever appear on Outside‘s “Out 100” and Lawyer‘s “40 less than 40”. Today, she continues to be inspired by the reach and impact of i’m jazz.
“We really wanted to create an atmosphere where trans people could be accepted for who they are, and to be able to see that our show was able to create that change is amazing,” Jennings said. “To be able to continue working on a project that creates this difference. It means a lot to me, it means a lot to my family and it means a lot to everyone involved in the project.
At a time when more than 144 bills across the country threaten transgender rights, Jennings has taken her activism even further, speaking publicly against the anti-trans sports bill passed by Governor DeSantis. in Florida. She also continues to raise awareness of proposed legislation that threatens access to medical care, including access to drugs like estrogen and testosterone, for the trans community.
“The medical bills are really, really concerning because you know it’s kind of a life and death for a lot of transgender people. These surgeries and medical procedures and the drugs we use to help us make the transition are so Otherwise we have to go through puberty of the opposite sex and that just creates more dysphoria and more feelings of depression and discomfort, ”says Jennings.
“No one should have to go through puberty of the opposite sex and feel trapped in the wrong body,” she adds. “So it’s really, really hard to know that these life-saving drugs, procedures and surgeries are banned in some states.”
Now 20 and after taking a break from high school, Jennings is ready for her next challenge – dating someone. Identifying herself as pansexual, Jennings says the only thing she looks for in a potential mate is authenticity. “I look at the soul and energy of a person rather than their outer shell. I think the body is just a vessel and a person’s core is inside, and I’m just more drawn to a person who has a beautiful soul. So whether they’re transgender, non-binary cisgender, whatever their religion, their sexual orientation, it doesn’t really matter to me. I just love a person for being her, ”says Jennings.
In fact, it all comes down to love for Jennings. When she feels weighed down by the world, she finds the autonomy of her family and remains anchored in her community. “It may seem like the whole world is falling on us with all these medical and sports bills and bans, but we have to keep moving forward and stand united in love because that’s the object of our movement.
“It’s all about love, and love always wins, no matter what,” says Jennings. “So we’re on the right side of history and we just have to keep moving forward.”
Video produced by Jacquie Cosgrove
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