Reality | Celebrity | Television

TLC Star Jazz Jennings Successfully Undergoes Gender Confirmation Surgery

LGBTQ Nation, Instagram/Jazz Jennings

If you've ever watched TLC's I Am Jazz, you'll know 17-year-old Jazz Jennings is an inspiration to not only the LGBTQ community, but to people everywhere.

Jennings first came into the spotlight after she appeared in a 2007 interview with Barbara Walters on 20/20.

At only seven years old, Jennings was one of the youngest individuals to publicly identify as transgender.

"She was the first young person who picked up the national spotlight, went on TV and was able to articulate her perspective and point of view with such innocence," said Christine Connelly, a member of the board of directors for the Boston Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth at the time.

Although the LGBTQ activist has received criticism from the public for being her true self, she has gone on to have a hit television show that documented her life with her family, as she navigates adolescence as a male-to-female transgender individual.

"Jazz's story is universal, yet unique, and we're proud to partner with her family to share it with TLC's audience. Jazz may be known as an author and activist, but she's first and foremost a teenage girl with a big, brave heart, living a remarkable life," TLC General Manager Nancy Daniels said.

Most recently, Jennings revealed she had successfully undergone gender confirmation surgery, which she originally announced her plans back in April.

"I wanted to talk about my upcoming gender confirmation surgery," Jennings said in a YouTube video prior to her operation.

"I am so looking forward to it. I’ve been ready for this my entire life," she shared, adding that she hopes her surgery will also be an educational lesson to those unfamiliar with the subject.

"If I put out this information for people to see, they won’t need to ask anymore questions. And also, it’s educational within the community as well," the reality star explained.

"A lot of parents who have transgender kids are like, 'What do I do? I don’t know much about this process.' And seeing our show kind of helps them figure out what steps they could take to help their kids and what the journey might look like in the future."

However, the TLC star had also revealed she had to lose 30 lbs in order to have the operation, as her weight would have made her surgery longer and more difficult to complete.

"What we’re finding is that as one new technology emerges, like hormone blockade — nobody thought we could block puberty — it creates another problem elsewhere. Now we don’t have enough tissue to create the adult genitals of the opposite sex," her surgeon, Dr. Marci Bowers said.

Luckily Jennings was able to shed the weight and the procedure was a success.

Following her surgery, Jennings posted a picture on Instagram - which sees her smiling in her hospital bed - with the caption: "i’m doing great, thanks for all of the love and support💖."

We congratulate Jennings on her bravery, and hope she has an easy and painless recovery!

[H/T: People]

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