By Mitch Kellaway
Originally published on Advocate.com July 31 2014 7:37 PM ET
Jazz, the eloquent, outgoing 13-year-old transgender activist, is rarely far from her next endeavor.
Named to The Advocate's 40 Under 40 in 2012, she is well-known from her appearances with Barbara Walters on 20/20, on MTV, Logo, the Oprah Winfrey Network documentary I Am Jazz, and her founding of the Transkids Purple Rainbow Foundation. Recently, according to GLAAD, she has even added "children's book author" to her list of accolades, having published her cowritten picturebook I Am Jazz.
Now, the teen has started videoblogging to reach her peers and spread her message of acceptance and resolve — starting with a stirring "Letter to the World."
Referring to letter writing as "a peaceful approach to achieving equality for all," Jazz says she made the vlog to give voice to her own evolving perceptions of herself and the world. For instance, she explains how she no longer accepts being told she was "born a boy."
"Yes, I used to say it myself," she admits. "But as I've grown over the years, I've understood something: I always was a girl."
"By the end of this, I want to pass my confidence and pride in being transgender to others," she continues. "Although most would run away from who they are, I embrace my uniqueness."
She goes on to explain how she came to "blossom like a flower," and chose to remain in the media spotlight to help others blossom, too.
Hear all of Jazz's wisdom below.