Through her show I am Jazz, 16-year-old Jazz Jennings has been pretty open about what life is like as a trans teen.
In fact, Jazz is perhaps one of the most famous trans girls in America right now and through her show, her blog, and her book, she’s tackled numerous tough issues pertaining to gender and identity. And now she’s going public with another very controversial topic: her decision not to get top surgery. In a clip from the show, she tells her doctor,
“I don’t want top surgery anymore. I’m pretty happy with my body.”
Her doctor replies,
“This is the first time I’ve heard you say that you’re happy with your body. You’ve been happy with certain changes, but there were always concerns. This is the happiest I’ve seen you. You seem more comfortable in your own skin now than you have since I’ve known you, and that’s really, really great.”
For many folks in the mainstream, getting top and/or bottom surgery seems like a necessary decision in completing one’s transition. But in fact, that’s not true at all. The decision to get surgery or not has nothing to do with one’s gender identity and certainly doesn’t determine whether someone is “really” trans or not.
Jennings has decided that she’d like to proceed with bottom surgery, however.
She previously said,
“I feel like this is the last step for me to complete who I am as a person. I know I’m a girl, but this just confirms that. I’m ready.”
It’s pretty rare for a trans person to go so public about their decision to get surgery one way or another, but Jazz is determined to share her journey with the public.
She told Us Weekly,
“I know a lot of trans people don’t like to talk about [bottom surgery] and everyone says what is in between your legs doesn’t matter and I agree, but I also think it’s important to talk about. Someone needs to step forward so they can see. It’s rude to just ask people if they have had their bottom surgery, but I want to talk about it so people will know so they can stop asking.”
While we’re proud of Jazz and her willingness to be so open, we certainly wouldn’t blame her if she decided to keep it private. It’s nobody’s business what’s between your legs except yours. Our society’s fascination with trans’ people’s genitals is completely ridiculous and more importantly, it shifts the focus from what’s really important: the person themselves.