23 Inspiring Jazz Jennings Quotes That Send a Powerful Message
Jazz Jennings is only 19 years old, but she's already spent 13 years of her life in the spotlight. The YouTube star, spokesmodel, television personality, and trans rights activist first attracted national attention after her 2007 interview with Barbara Walters aired on 20/20. Since then, Jennings has made a name for herself as a transgender icon and advocate. From her series of YouTube videos to her TLC reality series, I Am Jazz, to her 2016 memoir, entitled Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen, the teen isn't shy about sharing her experiences. We've rounded up some of her most inspiring quotes of all time, because no matter how you identify, these are words everyone should hear.
- "I've always known exactly who I am. I was a girl trapped in a boy's body."
- "I wish everyone would understand that it isn't controversial. It's about a girl living her life. That's what I am: just a teenage girl living her life."
- "I feel like so many people invalidate the experience of transgender girls thinking that they aren't regular girls, but I am a normal girl."
- "I say [to bullies], 'You know what, I'm transgender, but it's okay to be different because I embrace my uniqueness."
- "Once you realize that your consciousness is all that matters — your thoughts and experiences truly shape who you are — then the physical characteristics don't matter anymore."
On Representation and Education
- "Having transgender characters leads to more visibility, which creates education. Education can hopefully lead to everyone treating our community with acceptance and love."
- "Education and visibility are super important. With that visibility comes the knowledge required to be accepting of someone else. If you are educated, you can make less ignorant decisions."
- "Honestly, I feel like kids are much more open to change, because they're learning about the world and about themselves. But adults can be so stuck in their own realities and what they've lived in the past that they don't realize how things change, times change, ideas change, and that they have to open up their minds and move on from the era they grew up in."
- "If someone is judging you without knowing the content of your character, don't listen to them. It's not okay; I'm not going to tolerate it. In fact, it motivates me, because it shows me that there is still more education that needs to happen. I will continue advocating for my community until it's resolved, and the hate is gone."
On Support and Acceptance
- "Progress can't happen just from trans people being out in the open. Society also has to truly accept transgender individuals. If society is capable of treating us equally, then we can and will live authentically."
- "Acceptance is so important because we cannot go through this journey alone."
- "I'm honestly the luckiest kid in the world. Without [my mom], I wouldn't be able to be the proud, confident transgender woman that I am today. I embraced who I am entirely, and I attribute that to her and my dad and my entire family giving me the love and support that I need at that early age and allowing me to live my life as my authentic self."
- "For transgender kids who are struggling, I want them to know they're not alone. They shouldn't be afraid to step out of their shadows."
- "You can judge me all you want but you don't understand who I am or the content of my character. It motivates me, because when I see the comments from haters, I go, 'Looks like I need to educate more people.'"
On Sharing Her Story
- "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."
- "It's really cool to know that just by being myself, I can inspire other people to be their best selves as well and that's what it's really all about. By being authentic, I can help other people be authentic too."
- "Haters are our ammunition. They motivate us to continue fighting for our rights. That's why I continue to share my story."
- "It's not about me or my 'legacy,' but rather the message and how it will live on. I want to know that in sharing my story, my family has been able to greatly impact the lives of transgender individuals who were struggling to embrace their identities. We just want the world to be a better place for our community."
On Loving Herself
- "I think that I can get through anything and, for so long, I was afraid of my confidence. I was afraid people were going to say I was full of myself, I was cocky, arrogant, this and that. And I realize that it's better to be those things than to not love and value yourself."
- "Being transgender isn't a medical transition. It's a process of learning to love yourself for who you are."
- "I wouldn't change myself at all. Being transgender makes me who I am: a strong person, a confident person. Being transgender gives me my personality."
- "I've resigned myself to the fact that it will be awhile before I experience love. I'm okay. I'm a patient person. I can wait for my prince charming."
- "It's about learning to love yourself. That's really our main message, that everyone deserves to live their lives authentically, be treated equally and be loved as well."