Jazz Jennings says it's been 'challenging' to date as a trans woman: 'It's only one part of me'
Jazz Jennings is letting the world know about the challenges of dating as a transgender woman.
In a recent Instagram post, the activist and star of TLC's I Am Jazz shared clips of the most recent episode, which aired on Jan. 31, that exposes some of the harmful messages she's received on dating apps.
“I have three new messages," Jennings, 22, said in the clip as she opens her phone while hanging with two close friends, after which she reads a message that said: "Hold on... your bio says 'trans woman.' Too many of you tr***ies."
Jennings is later seen being consoled during an emotional breakdown: "It just doesn’t stop," she said through tears.
"Dating as a transgender woman can be so challenging," she wrote in the post alongside the clips. "I wish people could be like, 'You know what? I don’t care that you’re transgender. You’re just a woman to me. You’re beautiful. And I see that in you.' Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case, and many people don’t realize that being a transgender woman doesn’t solely define me — it’s only one part of me."
"In the upcoming episodes of #IAmJazz, I begin to re-explore my dating life after not going on a date for four years," she added. "It’s been terrifying and exciting to put myself out there, so I hope you all enjoy the ride."
Jennings’s life has — quite literally — been an open book for several years since becoming an outspoken trans activist. Her autobiography, I Am Jazz, was cited as one of 100 most banned or challenged books of the decade, from 2010 to 2019, by the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom.
When speaking with Yahoo Life in 2020, Jennings called it "both disappointing and honorable" that her book continues to be challenged by school boards across the country.
"In one way, it’s upsetting to know that there is still is so much stigma and controversy about a subject that has been prevalent within our society," she said. "But at the same time, there is some pride in knowing that the book is out there and still making waves. It’s another stepping stone towards creating equality and ensuring that all people are respected and treated as equals, even those who are different."
In July 2022, Jennings continued to lend her voice to the cause, posting a heartfelt Instagram video calling out lawmakers for banning a string of LGBTQ-themed books from schools — including George M. Johnson's All Boys Aren’t Blue and Kyle Lukoff's When Aidan Became a Brother.
"My name is Jazz and I was assigned male at birth," she said in the video. “At age 2, I expressed I knew I was a girl. At age 5, I began my social transition. And today, despite living my life as a proud trans woman, my children’s book I Am Jazz is banned all over the country,"
She continued: "Legislators ban the book out of fear that it will recruit or brainwash kids into being LGBTQ+. It does not. The book is about identity and it helps so many transgender youth learn about their personal self identity and who they are and it helps families better support their transgender child and friends better support their transgender friend."
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