Jazz Jennings


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Jazz Jennings D100
Blazer Topshop Unique, silk waistcoat with tulle collar Modes and More, printed crepe de chine shirt Gucci, embroidered knitted trousers Iceberg, ballet shoes with ribbon Miu Miu, cotton cuffs National Theatre Costume Hire, lace gloves Cornelia JamesPhotography Brianna Capozzi, styling Emma Wyman

“How does it feel to be transgender?” “Why do you think this way?” Jazz Jennings is fed up of the kinds of questions that, as one of the youngest people in the public eye to identify as transgender, she tends to have to field. “Being transgender is just one per cent of who I actually am”, she tells fellow teen trailblazer Rowan Blanchard in her spring 2016 cover story. “We have our interests, our hobbies, our things we like to do. And people have to understand that.”

The 15-year-old LGBTQ rights activist was just six years old when her and her family brought their story to the world, and it’s a story they are continuing to tell with their reality TV series I am Jazz (with a second season due to air this year). While simultaneously balancing being the voice of a generation and an average high schooler comes with its fair share of problems, it’s her encounters with fans that make it all worthwhile. “Because of me putting myself out there and my family sharing our story, (people have said) we’ve been able to have a huge impact on their lives”, she says. “That’s just the most empowering thing to hear, because it completely motivates me to carry on sharing my story, despite my doubts.”

A chronic overachiever, Jennings is determined to use her position to not only raise awareness, but to make the kind of changes happen in governmental policy that can transform the lives of gender nonconforming youth on a day-to-day basis. An avid football player, she’s already fought a two-year-battle for the US Soccer Federation to pass their first trans-inclusive policy – but there’s a lot more left to do. “A lot of people don’t understand how much discrimination transgender people actually face. They think that we’re just kind of saying it to put it out there and get sympathy, but that’s not true at all.” Already proving a powerful force-of-nature in front of the camera, sci-fi loving Jennings would love to get behind the camera herself one day. “(Acting’s) not my thing,” she says. “I’d prefer to write the screenplay.”

Text Claire Marie Healy