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By Jazz, as told to Diana Scholl
Sharing the Stories of LGBT Youth: Jazz, 12

in UNITED STATES, 29/10/2013

We Are the Youth is a photographic journalism project chronicling the individual stories of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth in the United States. Through photographic portraits and "as told to" interviews in the participants' own voices, We Are the Youth captures the incredible diversity and uniqueness among the LGBT youth population. We Are the Youth addresses the lack of visibility of LGBT young people by providing a space to share stories in an honest and respectful way. Below is the story of Jazz.

I'm proud to be a girl, and proud to be a transgender girl. I wouldn't change myself at all. Being transgender makes me who I am: a strong person, a confident person. Being transgender gives me my personality.

I'm the youngest of four siblings and the baby of the family. My family just treated me like anyone else growing up. They taught me that everyone has a special and unique trait about them, and that mine is that I have a girl brain and a boy body. I knew I was a girl from the time I was a toddler, and my family always taught me that being transgender was OK and I should be proud of who I am.

As I got older I learned about how some people treated their transgender children, and I was shocked. I couldn't understand how someone would leave their child and throw them on the street. I was always taught you give your kid unconditional love, and if you don't, something's wrong with you, for real. It's your child, and you really have to be there for them all the time.

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