Does Jazz Jennings Regret Transitioning? - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Does Jazz Jennings Regret Transitioning?

The story of Jazz Jennings, whose parents began their attempts to transition him to female when he was just 5 years old, had a major impact on the acceptance of transgenderism in America. As a child who made TV appearances with Barbara Walters, Jennings was the example par excellence for the perspective that some people innately belong to the opposite gender — an argument that was made more convincing because Jennings’ parents had treated him as a girl since early childhood.

In recent years, however, Jennings has repeatedly made headlines for health problems that offer counter-evidence to the narrative that medicine can seamlessly transition adults or children from one sex to the one they supposedly truly belong to.

A botched penile inversion vaginoplasty that Jennings underwent at the age of 17 required multiple corrective surgeries and left him with greatly diminished sexual function.

One of Jennings’ surgeons, Marci Bowers, later went public with hesitancy toward the World Professional Association for Transgender Health’s standards of care for children, arguing that the practice of giving 11-year-olds testosterone blockers and 13-year-olds estrogen treatments has made it impossible for doctors to later perform a traditional penile inversion vaginoplasty on them, as doctors are required to take skin grafts in order to have enough tissue, often leaving patients with poor outcomes.

This is exactly what happened with Jennings. His surgery was performed with stomach lining material to make up for the lack of available tissue. Soon after the surgery, his “neovagina” split apart. Three corrective surgeries over a period of years were subsequently performed.

“I think there was naivete on the part of pediatric endocrinologists who were proponents of early [puberty] blockade thinking that just this magic can happen, that surgeons can do anything,” said Bowers in an interview with Abigail Shrier, the author of Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters.

“But honestly,” Bowers continued, “I can’t sit here and tell you that [people who began transitioning as children] have better — or even as good — results. They’re not as functional. I worry about their reproductive rights later. I worry about their sexual health later and ability to find intimacy.”

Following the initial surgeries, Jennings gained over 100 pounds through binge eating and experienced a range of mental health disorders. Jennings’ mother, Jeanette, deflected theories that those difficulties were caused by the penile inversion vaginoplasty and argued that Jazz had long experienced mental health issues.

Jeanette Jennings claimed that Jazz’s happiest time in life had been during the year following the first surgery, though she acknowledged that Jazz had spiraled thereafter into a depressive state and could barely get out of bed in the morning.

Season eight of the TLC show on Jennings’ life, I Am Jazz, is now airing, and in a recent episode Jennings has an alarming conversion with his mother. In a clip that has gone viral over the past week, Jennings says that he is completely broken and unable to be his true self. One has to wonder if a lifetime of hormone treatments and surgeries intended to alter his appearance might have something to do with that.

Jazz explains to his mother that he keeps “going back to negative” and that he “can’t get out of [his] head.” He explains: “It just doesn’t stop.”

Jazz’s mother attempts to stop the breakdown and convince Jazz, who in a recent episode went on a date with a woman, that everything will be alright. “It’s okay, give me a hug. I know what you’re going through. We’ve been there before,” she says. 

Jazz then comes clean with the truth.

“I just want to feel like myself, like that’s it. I don’t care,” he said. “All I want is to be happy and feel like me, and I don’t feel like me, ever.”

Take note of what Jennings says here: “I don’t feel like me, ever.”

Jeanette, for her part, tries to dissuade Jazz from introspecting too deeply. “But the more you’re talking about yourself, it gets harder. You’re digging in and it’s making you put a magnifying glass on what’s already difficult as it is. So this is hard for you, I know. And we don’t want to push it.”

Jeanette, of course, has made millions off of Jazz’s transition and become famous for it. She now runs her own organization, the TransKids Purple Rainbow Foundation, which “aims to enhance the lives of transgender and gender non-conforming youth and their families.”

Jeanette has adamantly supported Jazz’s “transition” and pushed Jazz to incorporate every available mode of transition to appear as much as possible as though he is a woman.

A recent clip from the TLC series shows Jeanette pressuring Jazz to dilate his “neovagina” every day. Jeanette says that if Jazz doesn’t do it, she will “wring [Jazz’s] neck.” Men who undergo a penile inversion vaginoplasty are expected to dilate the open wound for over two hours a day for up to two years post-surgery and for shorter periods of time for the rest of their lives. Otherwise, the wound can shrink. 

Jeanette Jennings said she has woken up Jazz in the middle of the night and demanded that he dilate his “neovagina.” She said, “I have woken Jazz out of a dead sleep and taken the dilator and put the lubrication on it and said, ‘Here, you take this and you put it in your vagina, if not, I will.’”

Jazz’s hesitancy to partake in this perhaps says something about his enthusiasm for undergoing a vaginoplasty.

Another piece of evidence that Jennings is not as gung-ho as his mother on being surgically crafted into an imitation of a woman is his recent assertion that genitalia should not matter.

“If we didn’t define someone’s life based on what’s between their legs, things would be so much different,” Jazz says during episode five of this latest season of his show, which aired on Feb. 21.

Of course, by having Jazz undergo a series of four genital surgeries in an attempt to make him appear like a woman, Jeannette Jennings has done exactly that.

The medical issues that Jazz Jennings has encountered show just how disastrous gender transition is medically. It’s ironic because Jeanette Jennings meant for Jazz’s transition to inspire thousands of children to join Jazz in altering their sex.

But could the unintentional effect be greater than that? Jazz’s recent statement “I don’t feel like me, ever” raises the specter that Jennings, despite being the poster child for transgenderism and having had this pushed on him since the age of 2, may himself be secretly devastated by what has been done to him.

If Jazz regrets transitioning, Jeanette Jennings’ goal to advance transgenderism through Jazz could majorly backfire.


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Ellie Gardey
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Ellie Gardey is Reporter and Associate Editor at The American Spectator. She is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, where she studied political science, philosophy, and journalism. Ellie has previously written for the Daily Caller, College Fix, and Irish Rover. She is originally from Michigan. Follow her on Twitter at @EllieGardey. Contact her at
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