Transgender 11-Year-Old Comes Out on TV to Remind Parents to Love Their Kids (VIDEO)

Mom Moment 28

Jazz Transgender girlWhen I saw that Barbara Walters had a transgender tween on her show, I groaned. Here we go again, I thought, another set of parents exploiting their "different kid" to get on TV. Does 11-year-old Jazz really need the whole world weighing in on her male-to-female transformation at one of the most critical phases of childhood development?

Folks, I sit here corrected. This isn't about Jazz at all. Not exactly.

The 11-year-old is happy, well-adjusted, and she really doesn't care what the world thinks of her. She's open enough to tell the kids she knows exactly what is going on with her body. When they have questions, she even directs them to a YouTube video of her talking about her gender identity disorder. Take a look:

Jazz is not on TV because her parents are careless with their kid's feelings. If anything, it's the very opposite. They care so much that they and their daughter want to set an example for other parents, they want to show other families that you can have a happy, well-adjusted transgender child. You can be a happy family with one child whose gender at birth is not a good fit.

There is such fear surrounding raising a trangender child first and foremost because it is uncommon (it affects only 2 to 5 percent of the population) and therefore unknown. In that sense, it's like finding out about any other difference a child has; a parent has to learn something new.

I'll be honest: I'd be afraid to. Even knowing about gender dysphoria, even being comfortable with people who are transgender, I haven't been there. I would be terrified. But as Jazz's family is showing on 20/20, you can learn to parent a transgender child, you can learn to help a transgender child thrive.

Isn't that what we all want? Happy, thriving kids?

The tools are out there. There are families like Jazz's willing to put their stories out there to help guide other parents along the way. There's no reason every parent shouldn't be as accepting and loving as hers are to their transgender kid.

What do you think of this family?


Image via ABC

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nonmember avatar Cass

And here come the jerks who think that letting her do the interview is only giving her more attention and reinforcing her delusion. Or the people that think they're being SO clever by insisting on calling her "him" or "it". Or the ones who relay a story of their child playing briefly as the other gender to say that her condition isn't real. Newsflash: 2-5% of the population would not fake a disorder that would only invite ridicule, discrimination, and cruelty from the majority of those around them. It is a real, incurable, permanent disorder. She is a role model for speaking so openly- in her position, I'd never have the courage.

Mandago Mandago

I fully support parents of transgendered children who support their kids, but I wouldn't let my child go on television to talk about it, nor would I allow hormone therapy, gender reassignment surgery, etc for my under age child. Some things can't be undone, and are better left until a person is old enough to make informed, mature decisions.

Autum... Autumnleaves87

Real disorders call for real attention, and this little girl spreading her story is a brave and inspiring way to get that attention.

With the transgender folks I've met and heard, they knew from such a young age that they were not comfortable in their bodies, and it was such a torturing time for them. Maybe this young girl could help others who are in her same boat make it through those tough times.

And its also great to see her parents have recognized this too.

Mandago Mandago

The transgendered people in my life also one they were different from an early age. The problem is that I also know woman who insisted as a child that she was actually male, and now she's an adult woman with children, and very glad she didn't do anything drastic as a teen. Major life decisions should be left to adults.

nonmember avatar Marciline

The real discussion here should be about Barbara's glasses. WTF is with those glasses. Seriously. Who told her those look good? They are larger then her head.

alway... alwayscurious

While I do believe this is a real disorder, and am not trivializing what difficulties tg individuals go through, I do not believe that children should be allowed to make huge decisions about their bodies, no matter how mature they are, they are still children, and do not have the ability to process things and foresee consequences of actions like adults can. That is science. Besides, all those feelings can change when the hormones surge during puberty.

Reen1 Reen1

I think we can all say "Well if it was MY child I'd do this..." or "I'd definnitely do that.." but the honest truth is that you could never ever EVER truly know what you would or would not do if you were actually in their shoes. Unless you have literally been through this, or are going through it now with YOUR OWN CHILD (not, "you know someone" going through it), you really have no clue how you would handle this. You could be the biggest advocate for how wrong and screwed up these people are for "encouraging" their child to "behave" this way, but get yourself into the situation with your precious baby and your entire stance could change.. and vice versa. Don't judge these people. They are doing the best they can with the hand that they have been dealt.

nonmember avatar tulip

My now-7yo daughter has been telling us since she could talk that she was a boy. It's totally different than being a tomboy. There is a huge difference. I can't explain it. People come down on me, as her mother, for coddling her confusion but forcing her to wear dresses or long hair only makes her miserable. I only want my children to be confident and feel secure. She is still young and hopefully will outgrow this "I'm supposed to be a boy" thing, but if she doesn't, I just hope she can be happy.

RiotP... RiotPixie

I do volunteer work with LGBTQ youth and it is heartbreaking how many kids are treated badly or even kicked out of their homes for being gay/lesbian/transgender. I commend parents who can be there and accept their child when they come out to their parents. It's good to finally see a parent who supports their child through this.

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