TLC has ordered a second season of I Am Jazz, its docs-series show about transgender teenger Jazz Jennings and her family.
The cable network renewed I Am Jazz for eight episodes, which Gay Star News reports will focus on the 15-year-old’s attempts to balance her high school studies with sports, her family and her work as an activist.
Jennings and her parents founded the non-profit Transkids Purple Rainbow Foundation to support transgender youth and their families.
“We always felt that to capture the true essence of Jazz and a trans youth, to educate people on what it’s like to raise a transgender child and to be transgender, you really had to see it on a more lengthy scope of time,” Greg Jennings, Jazz’s dad, told The Advocate’s Yezmin Villarreal in July.
“It has never been about our own further gain or really just about us,” Jazz told The Advocate, “but really more about 'our' message and helping other people and if we could just share our story … on this large platform, then we hope we are able to convey our message easily.”
When an elementary school in Wisconsin canceled a reading of Jennings’ book I Am Jazz after the right wing religious law firm Liberty Counsel threatened a lawsuit, Jennings wrote an eloquent open letter to parents in the town of Mt. Horeb:
“I have been sharing my story for almost a decade because I don't want anyone else to feel alone or scared. I hope that ‘I Am Jazz’ continues to open people’s hearts by helping them to understand what it is like to be transgender. I am proud to see so many people support transgender students in Wisconsin.”
Parents and teachers went ahead and moved the book reading to a public library, and roughly 600 people showed up. The event was held to show support for a transgender first grader and her family.
For the second year in a row, Time magazine named Jennings one of The 25 Most Influential Teens. “The main thing that really keeps me motivated in continuing to share my story,” Jennings told Time, “is the fact that I know change is being created when I see people who tell me that I’ve really affected their lives. It’s just a beautiful thing.”
The premiere of I Am Jazz drew more than 1.3 million viewers, and has proven far less controversial than TLC’s canceled reality shows 19 Kids and Counting and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.
TLC pulled the show featuring the prolific, fundamentalist Christian and anti-LGBT Duggar family two months after the revelation that Josh Duggar, who worked for the antigay Family Research Council, had sexually abused five girls including two of his sisters. Duggar resigned from FRC in May.
Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, featuring the family of child beauty pageant contestant Alana ‘Honey Boo Boo’ Thompson, was canceled when it was revealed that June Shannon was dating a man convicted of child molestation.
Watch a clip from the first season of TLC’s I Am Jazz below.