12-year-old transgender girl Jazz met President Bill Clinton backstage at the 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards, MTV Act first reported today. GLAAD worked with MTV and Jazz to tell the story, appropriately titled "12-Year-Old Transgender Girl, Jazz, Inspires Us All," which encourages us all to speak out in support of equality.
Ginger and Rosa actress Elle Fanning and Glee's Alex Newell also joined Jazz on stage. The trio spoke in support of LGBT youth and called for more diversity and representation when it comes to LGBT youth in the media.
"It's amazing to be here tonight, representing all LGBTQ kids and teens out there." Jazz said. "I just want them to know that it's okay to step outside of your shadows and just be who you are. Just be true to yourself and express yourself, because after all, we are just kids, and all kids deserve to be happy."
Check out the video below:
"But what I really want is everyone to see a young person like myself playing a trans teen character on television. And listen up all you casting directors and writers of our generation, we want to accept diversity," said Newell. "I'm joining GLAAD to call for more trans and gender queer characters and more LGBTQ people of color and women on the big and small screen."
Newell went on to talk specifically about the trans community, encouraging people in the industry to tell more of their stories. "GLAAD only counted two transgender characters on TV this year, but let me tell you there are so many impactful stories from the trans community that we want everyone to experience," he said.
Jazz is a 12-year-old trans advocate who was the subject of the OWN documentary "I Am Jazz" and has been interviewed by Barbara Walters. She has been sharing her story in the media in hopes to build understanding of trans issues. Jazz was prevented from playing soccer on the girls team and her story led to policy changes for all future trans players within the US Soccer Federation.
Former President Bill Clinton received the Advocate for Change Award. Entertainment attorney Steve Warren received the Stephen F. Kolzak Award. Actress Drew Barrymore hosted the event. The capacity crowd enjoyed performances by Kelly Rowland and Glee's Darren Criss. Guests include: Leonardo DiCaprio (The GreatGatsby); Charlize Theron (Snow White and the Huntsman); Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games); Harvey Weinstein; Betty White (Hot in Cleveland); brothers Chris Evans (The Avengers) & Scott Evans (BehavingBadly); Tobey Maguire (The Great Gatsby); Alex Pettyfer (The Butler); Elle Fanning (Ginger & Rosa); Logan Lerman, Johnny Simmons, Mae Whitman, Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower); Beth Ditto (Gossip); Kirsten Dunst (On the Road); Naya Rivera, Alex Newell (Glee); Matt Bomer (White Collar); Sara Ramirez, Ellen Pompeo (Grey's Anatomy); Ryan Murphy (Glee, The New Normal, American Horror Story); Andrew Rannells, Justin Bartha, Georgia King, Jayson Blair (The New Normal); Greg Garcia, Cloris Leachman, Shannon Woodward, Harvey Guillen (Raising Hope); Craig Zadan (Smash); Ted Danson (CSI) and Mary Steenburgen (30 Rock); Lana Parrilla (Once Upon a Time); Eric Dane, Rebecca Gayheart (G.B.F.); Ioan Guffudd and Alice Evans (The Vampire Diaries); Ali Larter (Legends) and Hayes MacArthur (Go On); Barrett Foa (NCIS: Los Angeles); Sara Gilbert (The Talk) and musician Linda Perry; Molly Shannon (Enlightened); Kat Graham (The Vampire Diaries); Freddie Smith (Days of Our Lives); Trevor Donovan (90210); Perez Hilton; Teri Polo, Sherri Saum, Peter Paige (The Fosters); Thomas Roberts (MSNBC); author and advocate Chaz Bono; Kacy Boccumini, Cori McGinn (The Real L Word); Avan Jogia (Twisted); Maria Menounos (Extra);Jane Espenson, Brad Bell (Husbands); Crystal Chappell, Joanna Johnson, Linsey Godfrey (The Bold and the Beautiful); Melody Thomas Scott (The Young and the Restless); Brad Goreski (It's a Brad, Brad World); Hal Sparks (Queer as Folk); Khristianne Uy (The Taste); LGBT advocates Zach Wahls, Jennifer Tyrrell,Shane Bitney Crone (Bridegroom); GLAAD National Spokespersons, Wilson Cruz and Omar Sharif, Jr., and more.
Additional awards were presented in New York on March 16. The final awards will be presented in San Francisco on May 11 at the Hilton San Francisco - Union Square where Adam Lambert will receive the Davidson/Valentini Award and the San Francisco Giants will receive the Corporate Leader AwardFor a complete list of winners, click here.
The 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards were presented nationally by Ketel One and Wells Fargo, and presented locally in Los Angeles by Delta Air Lines.