Metro Weekly

TLC reality show stars transgender teen Jazz Jennings

Jazz Jennings (L) and her family

Jazz Jennings (L) and her family

TLC’s latest reality show is taking a big step towards greater LGBT visibility on television. Announced today, the network which brought us Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and Toddlers & Tiaras will debut a series focused on transgender activist and YouTube star Jazz Jennings, in reality show All That Jazz.

Fourteen-year-old Jennings shot to fame in her youth after she and her family made appearances on various shows, including 20/20 and The Rosie Show, to discuss the support she received from her parents and doctors to live as openly transgender. Jennings has presented as female since her fifth birthday and, as well as discussing her life on her YouTube channel, co-authored a book on liviing as a transgender teen.

The show will follow “Jazz and her family’s complex, loving, and fascinating story” over its 11-episode season. It will explore Jazz’s life as she navigates puberty and explores dating boys — as well as her preparation for high school in the fall.

“We know that families come in all shapes and sizes, but at their core, they are all about love, acceptance, and support. Only TLC can tell this family’s story in way that celebrates and demystifies difference in an effort to help create a world without prejudice,” said Marjorie Kaplan, Group President of TLC & Animal Planet.

“Jazz’s story is universal, yet unique, and we’re proud to partner with her family to share it with TLC’s audience. Jazz may beknown as an author and activist, but she’s first and foremost a teenage girl with a big, brave heart, living a remarkable life,” added Nancy Daniels, TLC’s General Manager.

All That Jazz will premiere this summer and joins a number of series with openly transgender characters or people as their subjects. Fox’s Glee is currently exploring the transition of character Coach Beiste, while Amazon’s Golden Globe-winning Transparent documents the transition of a woman who lived as a man for most of her life before coming out as transgender, including the subsequent impact on her family. Meanwhile, April 2, Discovery Life will premiere New Girls on the Block, which documents the lives of eight people, six of whom are transgender women in varying stages of transition, People reports.

Image Credit: TLC

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Rhuaridh Marr is Metro Weekly's online editor. He can be reached at rmarr@metroweekly.com.

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