Jazz Jennings is not afraid of showing off her scars. On New Year’s Eve, the “I Am Jazz” star shared a photo on Instagram in a swimsuit on the beach with her gender confirmation scars on full display.
The 19-year-old transgender activist and reality star wrote in the caption, “These are my scars on full display in #2019.”
“I’m proud of my scars and love my body just the way it is,” she continued. "I call them my battle wounds because they signify the strength and perseverance it took to finally complete my transition❤️#decadechallenge”
Jazz’s mother, Jeanette Jennings, responded to her post with praise in the comments, saying, “My sweet girl, you are the strongest and bravest of all the souls I’ve ever known and I’m blessed to be your mom."
Jazz received national attention back in 2007 when an interview with Barbara Walters aired on "20/20," which led to other high-profile interviews and documentary shorts. In 2015, the reality series "I Am Jazz" premiered on TLC, featuring Jazz and her family "dealing with typical teen drama through the lens of a transgender youth."
Jazz used the start of this year to showcase the tough health moments in her life, including a throwback when she underwent gender confirmation surgery back in 2018.
The YouTuber and activist shared a video message as part of a “decade challenge” to her followers on Instagram about the positive support that she’s received over the course of the past few years. In a rare video from the activist, she thanked her supporters and expressed her gratitude to everyone who has been positively affected by her journey and story.
Jazz got sentimental in the caption of her video, describing that tough year and thanking her fans for supporting her through all the highs and lows.
“#2018 was a rough year in my life,” she wrote. “I experienced a major complication with my gender confirmation surgery and wound up back in the OR one week after the initial procedure. It was a tough journey, but experiences like that one only make us stronger in the end. Though it can be hard at times, a positive mindset and the support of those around you can help you conquer any challenge.”
Jazz first revealed that she was going to undergo a procedure in a YouTube video titled "Preparing For Gender Confirmation Surgery." On June 1, 2018, she went into detail about the surgery she would receive at the end of the month.
“If I put out this information for people to see, they won’t need to ask any more questions," she explained in the video. "And also, it’s educational within the community as well. 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."
In an episode of “I Am Jazz” from early 2018, she thanked her family for their unconditional love.
“Having my whole family with me throughout this entire journey has been so important,” she said. “From the beginning, they have just provided me with unconditional love and support, and the fact that they’re here on this day just signifies that we’ve come so, so far since the beginning of this journey. This is really the final step, this is the final transition, and I’m so glad that I have them by my side.”