Rep. Speier Reads Children’s Book about Transgender Youth on House Floor

Lauretta Brown | April 29, 2016 | 3:25pm EDT
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Jazz Jennings (AP Photo)

( – Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) joined a nationwide day of readings of “I Am Jazz” Thursday by reading the controversial children’s book that chronicles the life of a biological boy, Jazz Jennings, who identifies as a girl.

“All across the country today teachers, librarians, and parents will be reading the book ‘I Am Jazz,’ a children’s book about transgender youth, co-written by Jazz Jennings, pictured here, and Jessica Herthel,” Speier said, explaining that “last year legal threats from the anti-LGBTQ hate group forced the school in Wisconsin to cancel plans to read this book to support a transgender student.”



“The local community rallied holding a reading at the library that drew more than 600 attendees in support of the student,” Speier said. “This is a movement, with readings across the country to increase understanding and to show young people that they are welcomed and loved. I'm proud to join these readers today from the House floor.”

Speier proceeded to read the picture book on the House floor.

“From the time she was two years old, Jazz knew that she had a girl's brain in a boy's body,” the book’s description on Amazon reads, “she loved pink and dressing up as a mermaid and didn't feel like herself in boys' clothing. This confused her family, until they took her to a doctor who said that Jazz was transgender and that she was born that way.”

There was outrage at an elementary school in Maine last year after the book was read to groups of children in kindergarten through third grade without notifying parents.

The national reading effort Thursday was sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Welcoming Schools program, the National Education Association (NEA) and the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC).

Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.) and Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.) tweeted praise of Speier’s reading.

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