Transgender teen Jazz Jennings thanked a group of men for restoring her faith in humanity after they stepped in to defend a trans woman’s right to use a public bathroom in a new episode of the hidden camera show What Would You Do?
The 18-year-old reality TV star from Florida has become an outspoken activist for the LBGTQ community since coming out as transgender at the young age of six, and on tonight’s episode of the ABC show, she takes on the hot button issue of trans people using public bathrooms.
In exclusive video, Jazz watches on behind-the-scenes as an actor berates a trans woman for wanting to use the ladies’ room in a restaurant — before a stranger sitting nearby speaks up and tells the angry woman to back off.
Appearance: Jazz Jennings, 18, appears on tonight’s episode of ABC’s hidden camera show What Would You Do?
The episode explores how people react when they see someone berating a trans woman for wanting to use a ladies’ bathroom
Jazz, who will be attending Harvard University this fall, watches the scene unfold in a restaurant in a preview clip of tonight’s episode.
An actress hired by the show plays a mother, who is eating at the restaurant with her daughter when she overhears a trans woman — played by another actress — inquire about using the ladies’ room.
‘I mean, should you be in the men’s bathroom?’ the woman asks. ‘That makes no sense why you would go to a woman’s bathroom. It’s disgusting.’
At a table nearby, three men overhear the mother loudly attacking the trans woman, and one decides to step in.
‘You know there’s a certain way to go about that, right?’ he says, at first seeming to take issue with the woman’s choice of words and not her message. ‘There’s a better way to do that.’
‘Because she’s trans, you’re not gonna let her go to the bathroom, and giving her a problem?’ he asks.
But when the mother asks the stranger why he is defending ‘him’ — purposefully misgendering the trans woman — the man replies, ‘Because what you’re doing is not right.’
Stand up: In a preview clip, a man speaks up to defend a trans woman against a stranger (played by an actor), who is berating her for wanting to use the women’s bathroom
Stepping up: He scolds the mother for loudly attacking the trans woman in the restaurant
The woman then suggests the man use the woman’s bathroom — but he says no, he is not a woman.
‘She is, yeah,’ he says, referring to the trans woman.
‘Why are you young people defending all of this?’ the woman asks.
‘Because what you’re doing is wrong!’ the man replies.
At that moment, Jazz comes out with host John Quiñones to inform the table of men they were actually on the hidden camera show.
‘Just seeing you guys stick up for this woman over here was really incredible to me,’ Jazz told the three men.
‘You really just restored my faith in humanity because not everyone had the same reaction as you guys.’
Joining in: Another scene shows Jazz actually on camera in the restaurant instead of behind-the-scenes. She plays the trans woman’s friend
Hurtful attacks: Again, a mother, played by an actor, loudly attacks the trans woman when she asks to use the female bathroom
Speaking out: Jazz stands up to the woman and says her ‘friend’ had a right to use the women’s restroom because she is female
Another scene set to air during tonight’s episode shows Jazz actually joining in on the experience instead of remaining behind-the-scenes, as she pretends to be the trans woman’s friend at lunch.
Again, the actress playing the mother starts to loudly attack the trans woman after she asked about the location of the women’s restroom.
‘She’s not a man, she’s a woman,’ Jazz tells the woman following her transphobic comments.
But the mother continues to attack the transgender woman loudly for other people to hear.
‘I don’t even know if I want my daughter in there,’ she says.
That’s when a female diner looking on interjects to defend the trans woman, despite admitting that she agrees with the mother’s views, because she thought the mom was being ‘rude.’
‘I agree with you, I do. But I think that’s very rude of you to do that.’
Speaking her mind: A woman looking on comes to the defense of the trans woman and advises the mother to leave her alone and mind her own business
But that stranger, too, eventually becomes more and more defensive in her language in sticking up for the trans woman.
‘Eat your food and just leave,’ she says. ‘He’s not bothering — she’s not bothering anybody. She’s minding her business.’
‘You keep calling him a she,’ the mother replies.
‘Well, if that’s how she addresses herself,’ the woman replies, eliciting a smile from Jazz. ‘Looks like a woman to me!
Jazz later thanked the woman for stepping in before revealing she was actually on the hidden camera show.
The full scenario airs tonight on a new episode of What Would You Do? at 9pm ET on ABC.
The topic relating to transgender public bathroom use is close and personal for Jazz, who officially underwent gender reassignment surgery in June 2018.
Her journey towards transitioning from being a man to a woman has been documented on her TLC show, I Am Jazz.
Important discussion: The topic is close and personal for Jazz, who underwent gender reassignment surgery in June 2018
Activist: She often uses her platform on social media to promote ideas of acceptance for everyone, specifically the LGBTQ community
Jazz also often speaks up on social media about being a part of the transgender community.
Recently, in an Instagram post, Jazz wrote about diversity and why people should fight for others’ rights.
‘My greatest wish is that we can learn to accept our diversity instead of trying to conform to be one & the same,’ she wrote in the post, adding: ‘Transgender & queer people aren’t trying to hurt anyone, we simply wish to be our authentic selves & love whoever we choose to.
‘I believe in the goodness of humanity. I believe we can create a world of freedom & love. I know we will get there. If you are trans or queer, continue using your power & gifts to teach people that we are all beautiful.’
Criticism has followed Jazz, who started speaking about her gender identity at the age of six.
She and her family would often appear on television for interviews during that time to discuss why Jazz identified as a female.
But ignoring the critics, Jazz has used her platform to inform the public about difficult situations she goes through when navigating the world as a trans teen.
Jazz is now set to move from her home in Florida, where she participated in online school, to Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
She intends to study either gender or religious studies while at the Ivy League school. The activist will also continue to film her TLC show so viewers can follow her throughout her college journey.