What Was the One Thing Jazz Jennings From ‘I Am Jazz’ Have to Do for Her Last Surgery?
Jazz Jennings, teen activist from the TLC show I Am Jazz had a huge roadblock preventing her from locking down gender confirmation surgery. The 18-year old’s journey to this surgery was lengthy, beginning when she was just a toddler. “When I was 2 years old, I went up to my mom and asked her, ‘When is the good fairy going to come with her magic wand and change my penis into a vagina?’” she told Women’s Health.
And while Jennings and her family planned on having gender confirmation surgery, Jennings faced a hurdle that could have prevented her from going forward. Ultimately she had the operation in June but also revealed things didn’t totally go as planned.
Her doctors shocked her when she learned this
Jennings prepared for surgery for years. Born male, Jennings had a hormone blocker implanted in her arm at age 11 to prevent her from growing a penis. However, this created a challenge for doctors as they did not have enough skin to create the vagina. She could undergo an experimental procedure which meant Jennings had to be the best shape of her life. The problem was that she carried about 30 extra pounds.
During an episode of I Am Jazz last season, Jennings’ doctor took her by surprise. “If there’s more weight, it makes the surgery longer and it makes it more difficult,” People recounts. These remarks stun Jennings. “The fact that I might not be able to get the surgery if I don’t lose 30 lbs. — I am absolutely horrified,” she said. “I knew that my weight was a problem, but I didn’t realize that it could affect something that I’ve been waiting for my entire life.”
How did she drop the weight?
View this post on Instagram
Uhhh, so I totally forgot to post a picture for Father’s Day, but this guy definitely deserves a tribute. You are the greatest man I have ever met: so loyal, honest, kind, thoughtful, and caring. You’ve always been present as a listening ear whenever I needed someone to hear my deepest and most authentic emotions, and the advice you give me makes such a difference in my approach to handling challenges. If it weren’t for you, I would’ve been eternally sedentary and stuck in bed, but your support and coaching gave me the motivation to walk with you every day and become active in order to lose 30 pounds for my gender confirmation surgery. I couldn’t have reached my fitness goals without you; my life has forever been changed by your unconditional love and support. Thank you for everything, I love you so much❤️
One culprit, likely for most teens was fast food. “As ya’ll know, I was a binge-eater and would go to McDonald’s, and — are you ready for my order? — 20 chicken nuggets, large fries, and three chocolate chip cookies,” she said in a May 29 video. “Hello, that’s me.”
She adds the weight came on quickly and before she knew it, she’d gained 30 pounds. So she cleaned up her diet, replaced the chicken nuggets with smoothies and got active with her dad.
“Every day my dad and I have been walking/running at least 3 miles in order to get me moving and about,” she posted to Facebook. “Prior to this, I was very sedentary and would lay in my bed watching tv on my computer while binging on food. I’m so proud of my progress and finally feel healthy. I was beautiful before and I will always be beautiful no matter what shape or size I am. However, now I feel beautiful AND healthy. If I did it, then you can definitely do it too!!! I never thought I would be able to give up food, but retraining your mind and forming new, better habits makes the difference and look where I am now.”
She had surgery but also this complication
Jennings triumphantly had her surgery in June but did indeed endure a complication. “There was just an unfortunate event and setback where things did come apart, and there was a complication,” she said.
She didn’t go into details about what exactly happened but added she is fine today. “I had to come back in for another procedure, but it was just all part of the journey,” she continued. “The good thing though is that it was only cosmetic and external so it wasn’t too dramatic.”
“I’ve gone through the whole medical process, and this is really the last thing that will validate my identity as a woman,” she shared with ABC News. “There is nothing else after this. I just get to be myself, be in the body that I’ve always wanted. And then I can live my life as just Jazz.”
Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!