Guest post: 'Vampire Diaries' star Kat Graham and Alissah Brooks chat with 14 year-old trans advocate Jazz Jennings

'Vampire Diaries' star and GLAAD Atlanta Leadership Council member Kat Graham and trans advocate Alissah Brooks have teamed up with GLAAD to launch a new series of guest posts featuring interviews with people making an impact on LGBT equality in the American South and beyond. This week, Kat and Alissah interviewed one of TIME Magazine's 'Most Influential Teens of 2014,' Jazz Jennings, who spoke about her life and what it's like being an advocate at the age of fourteen.

Alissah & Kat: Who is your role model and why?

Jazz: My family is my role model, because without their support and love I wouldn’t be the same person that I am today. They have really helped me become who I am and learn to love myself and love everyone. Without them, I don’t even know if I would be alive today. They are my main role models and main supporters

Alissah & Kat: What advice would you give to parents?

Jazz: I would tell parents that they have to love their child no matter what and give them unconditional love. I would ask them, "would you rather have a dead son or a living daughter?" That is a line that really grasps their attention. They really have to care for their child. This is their child! If they don’t give them the love that they need, then they might lose this child. If they really care, then that’s something important to them.

Alissah & Kat: What advice would you give girls, who are transitioning and hope to follow your path and footsteps?

Jazz: Stay confident. At this age, it’s very difficult. People are always trying to bring you down. It’s hard because you are learning to find yourself and fit in. But you just have to keep your head held high and be who you are, support everyone and accept people’s differences and accept yours as well. Make good friends, the people who will love you the most are the people you want to be around. I would tell them to stay strong and keep moving forward.

Alissah & Kat: If you could be a superhero for a day, who would you be and how would you change the world?

Jazz: A mind control freak. To be able to read people’s minds and move things with my mind.

Alissah & Kat: Since your book has come out. What has been the most rewarding feedback yet? 

Jazz: That there has been no negative feedback. I thought there would be some opposing views, but no one has really said anything too negative that has brought down our confidence for the book. Everyone has been really supportive and saying that the book is great, which is a great accomplishment so far.

Alissah & Kat: What is one thing you cannot live without? 

Jazz: The love of my family. And my kittens. I have four cats, I love them and they always cuddle with me. They are my little babies.

Alissah & Kat: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Jazz: I’m not really sure. When people ask me about my future, I never really know because I love doing so many things that I don’t know. I just hope that I can continue changing and saving lives and just making a difference in the world. I always say I want to leave the world in a better state than when I arrived and I’m still sticking by those terms.

Alissah & Kat: You have two brothers and one sister. How have they influenced you?

Jazz: They are just amazing people and they are really cool. I really look up to them as siblings. My siblings are really protective of me and I really appreciate that. If anyone talks bad about me, they will stick up for me and support me. Without them, I’d really be facing a lot of bullying. They really help me in my life.

Alissah & Kat: How lucky are you and why?

Jazz: I am very lucky! I have amazing family and amazing friends. I love myself, I love my life, and I’m happy with who I am. Other people aren’t as lucky and they don’t have the support that I have from the start. They don’t love themselves and that’s why I do these interviews and continue sharing my story. So that I can encourage them and be a voice for them because they don’t have those people in their life that can help motivate them to be who they are, so I want to be that person.

Alissah & Kat: What projects are you currently working on?

Jazz: Right now, I’m making silicone mermaid tails and I’m selling these in which the proceeds go to The Family Foundation, the Trans-Kids Purple Rainbow Foundation. I’m also making YouTube videos and I’m just doing stuff for the book. Book signings and stuff like that. I've been doing a lot of stuff, school, and being a normal girl. I balance out my life, so I’m doing a lot of things.