On December 7th communities across the country come together to read the book “I Am Jazz” In support of transgender inclusion in their communities. This year our community was no exception, as we hosted our first “I Am Jazz” reading. Our own Mireille Gale organized the community reading in conjunction with Human Rights Campaign, Transfamilies, the Diversity Center and Luma Yoga.
We had a great turnout with a roomful of kids, parents and grandparents. Jamie Joy, one of the fabulous youth leaders at the Diversity Center, did the reading and lead us in an activity to get us all thinking outside the box about gender. The kids were very engaged, asking questions and sharing their stories about their own gender journeys.
“The National “I Am Jazz” School and Community Readings are an annual event hosted by HRC’s Welcoming Schools in recognition of the first “I Am Jazz” reading in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin. In 2015 after a school in the Mount Horeb area cancelled a reading of the children’s book after the notoriously anti-LGBTQ group Liberty Counsel threatened the school with legal action, parents, children and school staff came together and filled the Mount Horeb Public Library with nearly 600 people who gathered to show their support for transgender inclusion.“I Am Jazz” was written by HRC Youth Ambassador Jazz Jennings and author Jessica Herthel and is a first-person account about being transgender. Jennings was one of the first trans children to talk publicly about her identity and the
challenges she has faced as a trans youth. This groundbreaking book is often used by schools and families to help children understand transgender youth and adults.”