An uproar over the book “I Am Jazz” about transgender teen Jazz Jennings has roiled a Rocklin charter school.
A transgender child brought the book to her Rocklin Academy Gateway School kindergarten class to share during story time. Some parents have objected to “I Am Jazz” being read to the class, calling the subject matter inappropriate for young children.
Here are five things to know about Jennings, 16, who co-wrote “I Am Jazz.”
1. She was assigned a male identity at birth but has always felt she was a girl. “I am definitely a girl. That’s all I consider myself as,” Jennings told Barbara Walters in a 2013 interview. Walters had originally interviewed Jennings in 2007 when she was 7, which initially brought Jennings to prominence. Jennings also frequently says she “has a girl’s brain in a boy’s body.”
2. She has a YouTube channel. “My channel shows that transgender people are just like everyone else and that we have to embrace our differences to create freedom and equality for all!” Jennings says in the description. Videos on her channel, which has 350,000-plus subscribers, range from information about being transgender to makeup tutorials.
3. She co-wrote “I Am Jazz” in 2013. The children’s book about her life was written by Jennings and Jessica Herthel and illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas. “I can see my life in the book,” wrote one reviewer on Amazon.com. In 2016, Jennings publishd a memoir titled “Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen.”
4. Her TLC reality show is now in its third season. The show, also titled “I Am Jazz,” first aired in 2015 and covers her family’s everyday life and challenges.
5. She really likes mermaids. Jennings founded Purple Rainbow Tails in 2013, which produces mermaid tails to raise money for transgender children. Several videos on her YouTube channel cover her work on mermaid tails and other mermaid-related projects.