I Am Jazz

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
I Am Jazz TV Poster Image
Transgender teen's reality show is positive, poignant.

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 2 reviews

We think this TV show stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Explores challenges, realities of being a transgender person. Acceptance and family are themes, as are communication and empathy.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Jazz works as a role model for transgender youth; she is brave and willing to speak out and share her story. Her family is extremely supportive. Jazz is also a regular teen facing the standard challenges (dating, body issues, school), which she deals with as best she can. 

Violence

Bullying, discrimination, hate crimes discussed.

Sex

Genitalia, breast size, periods, virginity, and the like are discussed, as is the gender-transition process.

Language

"Piss," "crap"; slurs such as "tranny freak."

Consumerism

Jazz's children's book is featured.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the reality series I Am Jazz features a transgender teen sharing her experiences as she prepares to enter high school. There's lots of teen talk about boys, breast size, virginity, and the like, but much of the discussion also centers on coping with these issues as a transgender person. Bullying and discrimination are discussed; words such as "piss" and "crap" and slurs such as "tranny freak" are audible. Though the show highlights the challenging realities of growing up a transgender person, acceptance also is a major theme. The series promotes Jazz's children's book as well as media campaigns designed to support transgender youth.

User Reviews

Adult Written byrudolfz June 19, 2016

A vote to live tolerance

We know about Transgender people for very a long time now. I first heard about them because of Wendy / former Walter Carlos, the great pioneer in synthesizer M... Continue reading
Adult Written byNikki E. June 11, 2017

Great Show

I love jazz because she is just like me, we are both transgender and she encouraged me to come out to my parents.
Kid, 12 years old October 29, 2016

Unique show that influences equality and acceptance

I Am Jazz is a very good show for families. The show promotes equality and acceptance among all people and not just of the LGBT community as it can/may/will spa... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old March 26, 2018

Great!

This show is very good! I know many people do not like the idea of transgender but in my opinion it is wonderful and inspiring. Jazz seems like such an amazing... Continue reading

What's the story?

I AM JAZZ is a reality series starring 14-year-old author and YouTube celebrity Jazz Jennings as she prepares to enter high school. Born biologically a boy, Jazz began her transition when she was five years old and has lived a happy life as a girl. But now that she's getting older, she must deal with the challenges that come with puberty, including adjusting hormone treatment levels to prevent male development, becoming comfortable with meeting new people, and dating. Meanwhile, she must continue to cope with institutional ignorance and ongoing bullying. Luckily her parents, Greg and Jeannette, as well as her older sister Ari and twin brothers Griffen and Sander are there to support her every step of the way.

Is it any good?

The overall series is largely uplifting, thanks to Jazz's honesty about who she is, and her efforts to be a role model to other transgender kids. I Am Jazz weaves together conversations about clothes, makeup, and boys with a positive and uniquely personal story about a teen who's constantly negotiating her willingness to openly be herself and facing fears of being rejected or bullied because she's transgender. It also underscores the serious medical decisions she must constantly make to ultimately have the life she wants.

The picture painted here isn't an easy one, especially when Jazz and her parents describe the endless struggles they've had to face over the years and some of the concerns they have for the future. Bullying incidents captured on camera aren't easy to watch either. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about being transgender. What kind of challenges do transgender people face on a daily basis? How can TV shows like I Am Jazz help?

  • Jazz's family is both supportive and financially stable. How do you think her life might be different if one of these factors changed?

  • How does I Am Jazz promote communication and empathy? Why are these important character strengths?

TV details

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