Jazz Jennings on 'Role Model' Caitlyn Jenner at the ESPYs: 'She's Really Making a Difference'
The transgender teen attended the award ceremony in Los Angeles on Wednesday
It was an emotional night for Caitlyn Jenner and her family when she accepted ESPN’s Arthur Ashe Courage Award on Wednesday at the ESPY Awards – and it also meant a lot to transgender teen Jazz Jennings.
“For me, Caitlyn Jenner is such a huge role model,” Jazz told PEOPLE at the award ceremony Wednesday. “She’s really making a difference in our society by just being brave and sharing her story. People say she’s not brave and courageous, but to me she is so brave and courageous.”
“To come out into the public eye with everyone judging her for her actions – look at her, she’s living her life authentically,” she added. “She’s happy. She’s beautiful.”
Jazz, 14, is a transgender activist and YouTube star. She was designated male at birth and became one of the youngest people diagnosed with gender dysphoria at age 5, going public with her transition in 2007. Her TLC reality show I Am Jazz premiered Wednesday.
She said she considers Jenner, 65, her “hero” who is “making such a huge difference” and speaks to the power of the LGBT community.
“You know, it’s just all of us,” Jazz said. “We’re all, as a community, hand-in-hand united, trying to create change. We’re all working together. We’re all equal, just fighting for the same goal of equality for all.”
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“I’m just so proud of her,” Jazz said of Jenner. “She’s definitely deserving of this award tonight.”
RELATED VIDEO: Transgender Teen Jazz Jennings Talks New TLC Reality Show I Am Jazz
“People are finally starting to open up their mind,” she added. “And with all the visibility, you know, the world is definitely changing.”
I Am Jazz airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on TLC.