I Am… Not Jazz

I Am Jazz. I was hesitant to watch this show when it first came out. I’m glad that shows about trans people actually exist now, but I still think that the sensationalist aspect is still a large part of it when it doesn’t have to be. And the first episode of this show was really no exception, in my opinion. 
Jazz fits the traditional “true trans” narrative. She knew she was a girl when she was a toddler, had the good fortune to transition before male puberty, and passes flawlessly. And though there isn’t anything wrong with that, every show on now deals with people who knew forever, and people like me who had to figure it out a lot later tend to get discredited because of it. 
The show also dealt a lot with genitals abd the physical aspects of transition. And though these are important things, I feel like they’re more on the personal side of transition, and there are bigger social issues that need the focus. What medication we’re on is nobody’s business, really. There’s a large section of the show that focuses on Jazz finding a bathing suit she feels comfortable in. A real issue, yeah, but one the focused far too much on “yes, Jazz still has boy junk.” There were the issues of breast development, too. I wrote that off as regular teen stuff, but it was a bit excessive, IMO.
But this show did things right, too. There was no misinformation, and a lot of real issues brought up. Dating was mentioned (and will no doubt become a theme), feeling different from other girls sometimes, dealing with being called names, and family acceptance were all touched on. 
Overall, this show was not nearly as bad as I expected for being on TLC. I’ll probably try to catch the next episode, and if you come across it, it couldn’t hurt to do the same. 
Help me (and Jazz) fight like a grrrl to make being transgender so mainstream it isn’t even worthy of a TV show. 
-Natalie 

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