Through her show I am Jazz, 16-year-old Jazz Jennings has been pretty open about what life is like as a trans teen and now she’s announced that she does not want top surgery.
Jazz, who is perhaps one of the most famous trans girls in America right now, is tackling a pretty controversial issue by revealing her medical choices. And although she’s already tackled numerous tough issues pertaining to gender and identity, this might be her biggest reveal yet. 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.”
She also 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.”
It’s pretty rare for a trans person to go so public about their decision to get surgery one way or another. In fact, actress/trans activist Laverne Cox previously appeared on the Wendy Williams Show in 2014 and declined to answer questions about whether she’s had top surgery. She told Wendy,
“Off camera, I can talk to you, but I’ve chosen not to talk about any of the stuff I’ve gotten done because I think so often when trans people’s experiences are talked about, we far too often focus on surgery and transition, so I don’t talk about that. But I’m very happy with the situation.”
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 your yourself. 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.
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Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, and Tiger Beat. Her favorite Housewife is Bethenny Frankel (by far!), but when she’s not watching RHONY, you can probably find her hanging with her kitty Tom or tweeting at Sen. Chuck Schumer.