The reality TV star opens up about growing up transgender, sharing her life on TV and embracing her femininity.
"As soon as I could express myself I knew that I was a girl."
Jazz Jennings, star of TLC's I Am Jazz, is opening up about sharing her gender confirmation experience with ET for our Unfiltered series.
"I gravitated toward everything feminine, dolls, dresses, princesses, mermaids, high heels, pink, purple, sparkles -- everything girl and it's just who I was and as soon as I could verbalize words, I was saying 'I am a girl.' It wasn't that I just like these girly things, but I knew I was a girl," Jennings, who was biologically born male, says.
When Jennings was three years old, she and her parents visited a specialist, who diagnosed Jennings with gender dysphoria. Since then, her parents embraced her identify as female -- support many transgender individuals don't receive.
"For so many trans-individuals out there, they don't have the love and support of their family and, you know, I think my family serves to be a positive example of how it should be," the LGBTQ activist says. "This is how families should support their child, embracing and loving them for who they are no matter what, and I really think my parents were just ahead of their time. They are really special people for allowing me to be my authentic self."
I Am Jazz follows the 18-year-old as she navigates her everyday teenage life as a trans-woman. The show is now in its fifth season and documents her journey with gender confirmation surgery that took place in June. Jennings finds importance in uplifting the transgender community through the show.
"There was one time that I got a message from someone who said that they were contemplating suicide and they were about to do it, about to jump off the edge and they thought of my family and our story and they believed in our message and they realized that there are good people in this world who are trying to create change and that life is worth living," Jennings recalls.
"Honestly, I have no regrets," Jennings explains about opening up her life to the public. "Seeing how the show is able to really make a difference in this world and help people become more aware about transgender issues is just so important to me and obviously being transgender all I want is to create more visibility and awareness on this topic, so I'm proud that my family has been able to do that."
Despite any negativity she's faced, Jennings has been staying true to her positive attitude and confidence from a young age, wholeheartedly embracing herself as a woman.
"Being a woman is something really, really important to me," she shares. "Throughout all of my life people have tried to invalidate my identity and tell me that I'm not a woman, but I feel like I completely represent all of the qualities of femininity. I am compassionate, loving, creative, intuitive, understanding and I think that's what being a woman is -- having all of those qualities and being that divine, feminine goddess warrior, mermaid princess of the world."
Watch Jennings' complete interview in the video above.
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