“I am Jazz” is a TLC show that depicts the life of Jazz Jennings. Jazz is a transgender girl who, with the support of her parents and family, decided at a young age that she was born in the wrong body and wanted to live life a girl. In the show, we see her day to day experiences which include those of a typical teenager- hanging out with friends, going to school, and spending time with her family. We also see her in a hospital setting trying to ensure that her body matches the gender she desires as she progresses through puberty.
Part of the intrigue of the show is that Jazz is relatable to many different audiences. As opposed to a reality show like “I Am Cait” that portrays Caitlyn Jenner, a wealthy and famous person going through her transition and living life as transgender, in “I am Jazz” Jazz’s experiences are more typical and relatable to the average viewer. She has two working parents, is shown celebrating Jewish holidays, attends public school, plays sports, and has many other aspects of her life that the show’s audience can better connect with.
This show is a positive step in the right direction in terms of representing transgender people in media. Whereas “I am Cait” sometimes seems to lack the adversity and difficulty faced in the lives of many transgender people, “I am Jazz” does a better job of depicting both the difficulty faced as well as the positivity and joy of a transgender girl becoming much happier and comfortable being who she is and who she wants to be. Although the show can be problematic in certain ways, overall it is no doubt very important for its more authentic portrayal of a transgender person for consumption by a mass audience. In addition, the fact that Jazz is a young girl presents a good example for young people struggling with issues related to their gender identity to see in order to better understand the possibilities for living their life in a way that makes them feel happiest with who they are.