Skip Nav

Jazz Jennings Video on Being Barred From Girls' Football

Trans Activist Jazz Jennings on Being Banned From Football as a Kid: "The Ban Made Me Feel Excluded"

Trans activist Jazz Jennings is speaking out about the discrimination she faced in kids' athletics when she was 8 years old. The 20-year-old shared a clip from a 2015 episode of her TLC show, I Am Jazz, in which she was banned from the girls' football team despite her gender identity as female.

"When I was 8 years old, I was banned from playing girls football for over two years," she captioned the video. "The ban made me feel excluded, had no merit and negatively affected me and my family."

The 29-second clip includes footage of Jazz's father, Greg, pleading with the football league to allow his daughter to participate in the sport she loved. "Your decision has taken away a piece of her heart and her parents'," he said through tears. "Please let her play girls' travel football presently, or let me know what reasonable steps we must take for you to change your position."

"These bills are discriminatory, increase exclusion, and have no merit."

In a caption she added to the video, Jazz explained that a trans-inclusive policy was finally implemented more than two years later in her Florida hometown. However, much more work still needs to be done in terms of trans rights.

"People argue that transgender [women] have competitive advantages," she said. "This is not true. My personal experiences and many statistics prove this. Today in 30+ states, including Florida, they are trying to ban transgender people in sports. These bills are discriminatory, increase exclusion, and have no merit."

Jazz also spoke about the bills passing in states like Arkansas that ban access to gender-affirming healthcare for transgender minors — including hormone treatments and reversible puberty blockers. Her 23-year-old brother, Sander, posted a clip encourageing Americans to contact their state legislators and shared some helpful resources for those who are interested in addressing the discrimination. Jazz retweeted the video, writing: "This is not okay! Gender-affirming care saved my life and is so important to transgender individuals."

According to The Human Rights Campaign, 82 anti-trans bills have been introduced at the state level across America in 2021 alone, which is an all-time high. The previous record was set last year, with 79 discriminatory bills being introduced throughout the US. Many of these bills stem from far-right political organisations — like the Heritage Foundation and the Alliance Defending Freedom — and do not consider constituents' perspectives.

"At least 87% of respondents across each of the 10 swing states say transgender people should have equal access to medical care, with many states breaking 90% support," reads a report from The Human Rights Campaign. "When respondents were asked about how they prioritised the importance of banning transgender people from participating in sports as compared to other policy issues, the issue came in dead last, with between 1% and 3% prioritising the issue."

Latest parenting