QUEER VOICES

Jazz Jennings Has Classy Response To Duggar Family Member's Transphobia

Derick Dillard sparked controversy after he blasted the teen on Twitter.

08/04/2017 13:53 EDT | Updated 08/04/2017 14:57 EDT

Jazz Jennings has no time for transphobia.

The 16-year-old LGBTQ rights activist and transgender icon inadvertently found herself the subject of a heated Twitter debate this week after fellow reality star Derick Dillard, 28, blasted her in a shocking tweet. 

Dillard, who stars on TLC’s “Counting On” and is married to Jill Duggar Dillard of “19 Kids and Counting” fame, tweeted a promotional link to Jennings’s show, “I Am Jazz,” Wednesday. In it, he argued that being transgender is “a myth” and a “non-reality.”   

The tweet sparked a flurry of responses, with many speaking out in defense of Jennings. “I’m a Christian and I love Jazz. Don’t judge us all by what Derick said,” one person wrote on Twitter. Added another: “People kill themselves because of statements like this, Derick. You’re talking about a teenager. You think God’s all about that?” 

Moments later, Dillard attempted to clarify his stance in a response to one Twitter user, and misgendered Jennings in the process. 

The Duggars, who have been outspoken opponents of LGBTQ rights, are known for their conservative Christian faith. Meanwhile, Dillard and his wife have worked as missionaries in El Salvador.  

One person who wasn’t fazed by the online squabble was Jennings herself. On Thursday, she tweeted: 

TLC distanced itself from the controversy, too. On Friday, executives released a statement to HuffPost in email, noting, “Derick Dillard’s personal statement does not represent the views of TLC.”

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