During the season finale of TLC’s “I Am Jazz,” 16-year-old Jazz Jennings and the co-author of her book began preparing for her interview with conservative journalist Tomi Lahren.
Lahren, who once worked for The Blaze TV, is known for speaking her mind unapologetically, particularly on issues like transgender people and their bathroom rights.
During one of Lahren’s “Final Thoughts” segments, the “shock jock,” as Jazz’s father called her, was very honest about her feelings on transgender people using the bathroom for their respective gender:
“This is yet another example of the Obama administration trampling over states’ rights and Congress in order to advance his liberal agenda. […]
It’s not really the drag queens they’re worried about in North Carolina, it’s the creeps that will use it to self-identify as whatever gender will get them closer to their victims. That’s the thing, it’s a slippery slope. And call me old-fashioned, but I still believe that thing in your pants isn’t really up for a negotiation.”
In the segment, Lahren went on to ponder why people don’t just start self-identifying for “perks.” She pointed out that in her opinion, “it’s about privacy, those who will abuse it, and states’ rights.”
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I can't believe it's already the #IAmJazz season finale. I'm sorry we don't have more episodes but y'all gotta remember I have school & stuff✌🏼 Anyway, this episode I will finally confront Tomi Lahren in an intense interview. I will also be scuba diving with my family and meeting with Dr. Marci Bowers for my final bottom surgery consultation. I will ultimately choose my surgeon as well! Love you all, thanks for the support💖 @tlc
Jazz disagrees with much of what Lahren has said about transgender rights. During the new “I am Jazz” episode, the teen said she was offended by Lahren’s statements. As a result, Jazz jumped at the opportunity to sit down with her.
Jazz’s co-author, Jessica, supported her decision to talk with the commentator, explaining that by going on Lahren’s show and speaking her truth, Jazz is helping to stop misinformation from spreading:
“Right now there is this culture of ‘no one really knowing what the facts are or knowing who to believe.’ There are so many different news sources, so many different voices speaking out on these topics, that if we allow the misinformation to spread, then it becomes harder to debunk these myths that spring up around kids like Jazz.”
Jazz said she just hopes Lahren will listen to what she has to say.
Her parents, on the other hand, are nervous about letting their daughter step into the line of fire.
Nonetheless, Jazz’s mom said that because she’s not a little kid anymore, it’s time for Jazz to learn how to put the “boxing gloves” on when it comes to standing up for what she believes in.
The interview, as expected, got heated at times. But audiences members also saw two completely different people listening to each other, trying to understand their differences:
While the interview was airing, Jazz tweeted out this photo of her in second grade, letting Lahren know that this was the person she was calling a “pervert”:
This is who you're calling a "PERVERT" for using the girls' bathroom. pic.twitter.com/WJYMAiFYbX
— Jazz Jennings (@JazzJennings__) August 10, 2017
Jazz isn’t quite sure whether Lahren came full circle and really understood what she was trying to say, but she, her mom, and Jessica all agreed that Lahren was a different person off screen than what they saw on screen.
And although they could have been more aggressive when talking with Lahren, they knew the interview was Lahren “extending an olive branch” to her opposition. They were also thankful for the opportunity to reach an audience Jazz doesn’t often reach.