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Guest Post: Young LGBT voices: what does pride mean to you? - Jazz

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Jazz is a 12-year-old trans advocate who was the subject of the OWN documentary “I am Jazz.” She honored with the Colin Higgins Youth Courage Award in New York City, and spoke at the GLAAD media awards.

Pleasure or satisfaction taken in an achievement...Climbing over a mountain of achievements...A feeling of confidence fills your body...Or someone, a family or friend, can feel it based on your actions. This word represents much power and strength that every person should have. The word is PRIDE. Just smile, when you know you have done something good, or you have reached a goal. 

Last summer, when I was 11, I was the youngest person ever to be honored with the Colin Higgins Youth Courage Award in New York City. I gave a speech at the Trevor Awards and was able to ride in the New York City Pride Parade. When I cheered and waved at the LGBTQ community during the Pride Parade I had that feeling that I described in the sentences above, and the smile on my family's faces showed that they expressed the same emotions in their hearts too. That was one of the greatest weekends in my life. I'd never celebrated pride so perfectly and personally. I met so many others who felt the same as me. We all celebrated our differences....or as I like say our, "special uniqueness" . 

 It was the greatest feeling to be a part of the LGBTQ community.  It was amazing! 

This past spring when I gave a short but sweet speech about my feelings for LGBTQ kids at the 2013 Glaad Awards in Los Angeles, I had that same sensation. I knew I had accomplished a goal, and had showed my confidence to everyone in the room.

So many important people told me how I changed their lives. I met President Clinton and my favorite actress Jennifer Lawerence, and they said I was inspirational. Boy, if that doesn't make you feel proud, I don't know what would! 

However, I gain the most pleasure and pride when someone I've touched approaches me with a smile on their face. Words gently pour out of their mouth as they say I have made a difference for them, or I have changed or even saved their life. They smile at me with a gleam in their eyes, and ask to give me a hug.  I raise my cheast to express the confidence flowing through my veins. I make eye contact, and gleam back at them. For at that very moment I felt PROUD of myself that I could create change for at least one person.

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