Greg and Jeanette Jennings, parents of TLC star Jazz Jennings on I Am Jazz, were central to helping Jazz’s transition into a girl. Although surprised when their youngest child came to them and said he “felt like a girl trapped in a boy’s body,” they have continued to support Jazz’s transition over the years.
Jennings is not actually Greg and Jeanette’s last name; the family wanted to protect their privacy after first deciding to share their daughter’s story, so they changed their last names and originally called each other by different first names – Scott and Renee. They have also chosen not to reveal the actual location of their home, and only occasionally reference living in South Florida.
The Jennings have made strides to support Jazz throughout her change, and even founded the TransKid Purple Rainbow Foundation, a group focused on improving the lives of trans kids and teens across the United States.
According to the Foundation’s site, its mission is focused on helping trans kids make the transition and take away some of the stigma surrounding the community. The foundation works with a licensed mental health counselor to aid trans kids throughout their lives and to help them lead successful lives following their transition. Check out their mission statement below:
TKPRF is committed to the premise that Gender Dysphoria is something a child can’t control and it is society that needs to change, not them. Families need to support their children and be encouraged to allow them to grow-up free of gender roles. TKPRF is committed to enhancing the future lives of TransKids by educating schools, peers, places of worship, the medical community, government bodies, and society in general, in an effort to seek fair and equal treatment and of all transyouth.
The couple have four children together, including Arial, 19, and twin sons Sander and Griffen, 17. The entire family are all featured on the show, although I Am Jazz specifically centers around Jazz’s transition.
Jeanette Jennings is very active on social media, and started the #JazzHands movement in 2017 to help increase awareness and encourage education surrounding trans children. For every photo that was posted, TLC donated $1 to the Jennings’ charity, TransKids Purple Rainbow Foundation.
The Jennings were very supportive of Jazz throughout puberty. Jazz was concerned about growing facial and body hair while she was transitioning, so her parents helped prevent male puberty by putting Jazz on hormone therapy, which helps stall the development of male features and blocks body hair growth. Although the treatments are very expensive, the Jennings have not let the cost deter them from supporting their daughter through her change.
“Jeanette and I are in 100 percent agreement as to how we should raise Jazz,” Greg Jennings told ABC News. “We don’t encourage, we support. And we just keep listening to what she tells us.”
It wasn’t difficult for the Jennings to support Jazz when she came out as trans, due to the fact that they already suspected she was a girl before she did. Jeanette told ABC News that Jazz “acted like a girl” from the time she was old enough to begin expressing herself.
“She liked anything sparkly and pink,” she told ABC. “And she’s so feminine.” She told the media outlet that Jazz enjoyed wearing dresses and would correct Jeanette and Greg when they referred to her as a boy. Although they didn’t fully realize Jazz was trans at the time, it wasn’t altogether surprising when she told them she was trans.
The family has received many death threats since the show first aired, and although the threats have scared the Jennings, they have never wavered in their support of their daughter. Jeanette can’t fathom how anybody could threaten a child, and says that the people behind the “horrible, horrible” comments on social media and death threats are “evil.”
You can check out the newest season of I Am Jazz tonight 10 p.m. ET/PT.