I wanted to touch on this article, as I watched this specific 20/20 episode two years ago when it aired. The article is regarding “Jazz” a child born biologically male, but identifying as female as early as she could speak. Jazz shows a decisiveness that is rare in children her age. She “came out” to family and friends at her 5th birthday party by wearing a girls one-piece swimsuit.
Her parents appear very supportive and have created a safe environment where Jazz is allowed to be herself; she attends a school with neutral restrooms and sports teams. Her parents arrange for any of her playmates to recognize that even though Jazz is a girl, she may have different anatomy than that of the average girl. I find this encouraging and believe if more parents accepted their children as openly as this family has, that transness would be less stigmatized in Western society.
This raises the question of how early in life could we truly decide who and what we are? Certain camps would certainly say that this is just a phase that Jazz will soon grow out of; that when she reaches puberty, and surges of testosterone once again take over, that her masculinity will return. Others, including Jazz’s parents, believe she has made her definitive choice and they in turn choose to accept it happily and move on with life. However they do check in with her from time to time, noting that if she ever feels the need to become a boy that she has the free will to do so. They do not want her to feel trapped in either gender– which is a wonderful thing in my opinion.
I think 20/20 did a wonderful job with the topic. Although a bit sensationalized, as anything is on television, the segment provided knowledge on the subject to Americans who may have never had the opportunity to interact with a transchild. This article shows a great example as well of a loving and supportive family in America. It provides other transkids and their families with inspiration or even camaraderie.
One can only assume that Jazz is one of many transchildren in America. Jazz is lucky to have parents that can identify, accept, and love her as she is.