We’ve been waiting for this groundbreaking interview and it is finally here.
And one word that consistently came up in Barbara Walters interview with 11-year-old male-to-female trans girl Jazz was “special.”
Her family calls her that, and she likes to call herself that. And in her case, it isn’t egotistical. Jazz really is special. Like, zen-like special.
At an age when some of us were unable to string sentences together more complicated than “Is there no more Waffle Crisp left?” Jazz is verbalizing the most basic and pressing issues facing trans men and women in America.
In fact, she was able to do so, maybe in a more basic way, when she last spoke to Barbara Walters at age six and said simply, “I have a girl brain and a boy body.”
We repeat, Jazz was six when she said that.
And at 7, she made a remarkably direct, eloquent Youtube video describing what it’s like to be trans.
And with the help of her unbelievably supportive and understanding mother and father and a troupe of siblings always ready to defend her honor, she has matured into a young lady who deals head-on with understandable anxieties regarding her trans-ness.
She fears, she says, going through puberty as a boy and getting “hair all over my body.” But not surprisingly from the girl born as a born who began identifying as trans at age 5, Jazz is already on hormone blockers to prevent boy puberty. And the Jazz and her parents will soon be making the decision about when or whether to start estrogen therapy. Any surgical interventions are barely on the horizon right now, though, so Jazz continues to be anatomically male.
But with the ABC cameras watching, Jazz fearlessly texts with a classmate, a boy, she has a crush on and tells him directly that she has a penis. And to her joy, he responds that he accepts her as she is.
Maybe most remarkably, is Jazz’s ability to transcend the thorn in the side of trans advocates, the widespread and controversial idea that she suffers from a dysphoria or disorder.
She believes, instead, that she is just “special.”
“Because,” she says, as matter-of-factly as someone describing their love of a certain color or type of music, “that’s what I think being transgender is.”