Jazz Jennings wants her graduation speech to be nothing short of perfect.
In PEOPLE’s exclusive sneak peek at Tuesday night’s episode of I Am Jazz, the transgender teen confides in her parents Jeanette and Greg about her doubts over her high school graduation speech.
“I just don’t think it’s that good,” Jazz admits.
“But you know what’s the nice thing? You don’t get graded on it!” Greg points out with a smile. “You don’t have to worry about it.”
But Jazz is still stressed.
“My graduation is tomorrow and the school approved the speech that I submitted, but I’m just not really entirely happy with it,” Jazz explains in a confessional. “I think the fact that I can’t change it this late in the game is getting to me. I’m just really allowing my perfectionism to take over.”
The teen tells her parents that she doesn’t think think her speech “humorous enough,” adding that she “didn’t add my Jazz pizzazz and make it funny.”
“When I wrote the speech, I felt like I had the responsibility of trying to make a lot of people happy,” Jazz says in a confessional. “But I am feeling like my speech is just not me and I can’t let it go.”
She reads part of the speech to her parents: “‘Instead of being the transgender girl, I became the nerdy perfectionist who became frustrated with anything less than 100.'”
“But that isn’t funny,” she bemoans. “I’m going to say it like I’m telling a joke, and it’s not going to land.”
Despite his daughter’s doubts, Greg remains optimistic and encouraging. “You’re not a comedian,” he reminds her. “You don’t have any obligation to make people laugh.”
“I realize this is an an important thing in her life and she wants to get it right,” Jeanette says in a confessional. “But the speech has already been approved by the school. It is finished, it is not supposed to be tinkered with at all.”
Adds Greg, “Jazz wants to accomplish a bunch of things with this speech. To be relatable to her classmates, she also wants to come with a powerful message. Also, she wants a personal message. I can understand why it’s a lot of pressure and more so even than any other speech she’s given before.”
Jeanette tries to comfort her daughter by remarking on other recent big decisions the teen had to make.
“Well, you’ve had a very stressful month or so,” she says. “Because you had to make a decision what college you wanted to go to and that was heavy, that was hard. And then you had the drag show, that was a lot of work. And now you have to write this speech, and I know you’re a perfectionist. I know you want it to be perfect, you don’t want it to be a B+, but it’s okay.”
In a confessional, Jeanette admits that she’s worried about her daughter’s “perfectionist” attitude.
“I’m hoping she can accept that the speech needs to stay the way it is and move on,” Jeanette says.
Jazz graduated high school in May 2019 and had plans at the time to attend Harvard. However, she revealed in October she would be delaying her classes for the time being.
In an Instagram post on Feb. 27, Jazz revealed that she would finally be joining the Harvard Crimson family.
“After a tough decision, I decided Harvard would be the best home for me. I am so proud to be a part of the Crimson Family and excited to be starting on campus soon!” she wrote.
I Am Jazz airs Tuesdays (10 p.m. ET) on TLC.
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