The 16-year-old I Am Jazz star took the high road with her response after 28-year-old Dillard, retweeted a post from TLC to his Twitter account about Jazz, suggesting, "transgender is a myth."
"Every day I experience cyber-bullying," she wrote. "But I keep sharing my story. Today was no different."
Every day I experience cyber-bullying, but I keep sharing my story. Today was no different.— Jazz Jennings (@JazzJennings__) August 3, 2017
Retweeting a promotional tweet from TLC, Dillard initially captioned the post, "What an oxymoron… a 'reality' show which follows a non-reality. 'Transgender' is a myth. Gender is not fluid; it's ordained by God."
The father of two soon received backlash from fans and audiences, including one user who asked, "Is it necessary for a full grown man to throw shade at a teenage girl?"
What an oxymoron... a "reality" show which follows a non-reality. "Transgender" is a myth. Gender is not fluid; it's ordained by God. https://t.co/YxzH5o5Ujx— Derick Dillard (@derick4Him) August 3, 2017
I want to be clear. I have nothing against him. I only have issue with the words and definitions being propagated here.— Derick Dillard (@derick4Him) August 3, 2017
The son-in-law of Jim Bob Duggar quickly responded to the fan, but replied with the male pronoun, writing, "I want to be clear. I have nothing against him. I only have issue with the words and definitions being propagated here."
Others noticed the comment, quickly taking sides on the issue with one tweeting back, "If you are upset with TLC calling HER a HER than (sic) maybe you shouldn't be a part of the reality TV network that pays your bills."
On Thursday night, PEOPLE reported that TLC issued their own statement regarding Dillard's tweet, saying, "Derick Dillard's personal statement does not represent the views of TLC."
But while those words don't express the network's views, they have been a reality for Jazz since her transition at the tender age of 7, ever since she made her debut on ABC's 20/20 with Barbara Walters.
The teenager first received national attention when Barbara Walters interviewed her for a segment on the acclaimed news magazine, 20/20. It was an appearance that was later hailed groundbreaking for those in LGBTQ youth community, who stated Jazz was the "first young person who picked up the national spotlight, went on TV and was able to articulate her perspective and point of view with such innocence."
In the interview with Walters, Jazz's mother, Renee said their child was clear on being female as soon as she could speak.prevnext
While Jazz was met with pushback from her identity early on in life and criticism aimed at her parents, Dr. Marilyn Volker, a therapist who specializes in sex and gender issues confirmed that the Jennings child was in fact a "she" after several tests, telling ABC, "When we began to talk, and I used — whoops — the pronoun 'he,' I was corrected."
The doctor then brought out anatomically correct male and female dolls for Jazz to play with, asking him to point out which one looked like his body. Volker said Jazz pointed to the male doll, saying, "This is me now," and then pointed to the female doll and said, "This is what I want."
So many people attempt to cloud the purity of this child's happiness with their tenacious hatred. Her eyes glisten with hope, yet they are still denied by the intolerance of society. Her heart beats with the gratifying rhythm of freedom yet so many others prefer the trepidatious sound of fear or the unrelenting drum of cruelty. But the hope in her eyes and the love in her heart are confident that one day everyone will be able to hear that alluring melody of freedom if we can all just wish for one another to smile in the way of that little girl?
Named one of TIME's "25 Most Influential Teens" in 2014 and 2015, Jazz has now been sharing her life for 10 years and earning numerous accolades for her outspokenness, especially on social media.
But in an interview with Teen Vogue in 2016, Jazz knows she is some others will not accept, yet deals with the bullies head-on because she knows it's "not okay." She tells the publication that on every single picture or post, a negative comment is unfortunately found.
"My supporters will normally stand up to that hateful person, and then it will become a big argument, and it's just a lot," she said. "I try to tell myself not to listen to the haters, and I try not to read the comments because it's not worth it. If someone is judging you without knowing the content of your character, don't listen to them."
She continues, "It's not okay, I'm not going to tolerate it. In fact, it motivates me, because it shows me that there is still more education that needs to happen."
Despite being in the public eye, I think it's vital to always stay true to my authentic character. By being a happy teenage girl who is proud to be transgender, I hope I can guide others to also love themselves and learn to embrace their unique qualities. There is no greater validation than learning to accept what makes you who you are❣️
As an honorary co-founder of the TransKids Purple Rainbow Foundation, which she and her parents founded in 2007 to assist transgender youth, the teenager knows she is an advocate for her community, telling Teen Vogue she will continue "until it's resolved and the hate is gone."
Cyberbullying is definitely real she experiences it just like any other teenager.
In an interview with The Meredith Vieira Show, Jazz shared advice for kids facing the same struggles every day, saying, "There are sometimes kids who talk behind my back or say mean things. A lot of boys avoid me or sometimes they can be really rude or make me feel excluded and I just have to keep moving forward and not care what they think."
However, she adds, "If I stay strong and be myself then their opinion doesn't matter at all and that's what I do every day…"0comments
Jazz says that though it might sound hard, she was born with "inner confidence" and with the love and support from my family was able to become more confident throughout life, adding, "I was able to push aside those things."
Photo credit: Twitter / @rinconcelebnewsprev