Chris Edwards on his memoir, “BALLS” and understanding gender identity
After I had the pleasure of interviewing Dorie Clark (author of an amazing book calledStand Out - How to find your breakthrough idea and build a following around it), she immediately introduced me to a new guest - Chris Edwards. Chris titled his memoir BALLS. It takes some to get some because as he says, “Changing your gender from female to male takes balls. And if you’re gonna do it in front of 500 coworkers at the largest ad agency in Boston, you better have a pretty big set!” But “Balls" is about so much more. At its core it’s the funny, heartwarming story about family, friends and the courage to be true to yourself.
Prior to going freelance so he could focus on his book project, Chris was the EVP Group Creative Director at Arnold Worldwide - the company I've been working for for the past 2 years, but Chris and I never crossed paths there.
We cover a lot in this episode including:
- It's been 20 years, why coming out now?
- FAQ - what's OK to ask, and what's not, of a transgender person
- How Chris revealed his story to his nieces and how the girls responded
- Chris' take on Ben Carson's "Bathroom Bill for Transgender People"
- "I'm a storyteller, not an activist."
- The impact Chris had on others through writing and speaking
- What transgender people can do to help others
I can't wait to read Balls, which will be published in 2016. Release date will be announced on Feisworld. For now, I'd like to invite you to join a very personal conversation with Chris, where we not only discuss his new book but also the challenges and hardships he had to endure.
This is a story of hope.
Chris' transition from female to male took years and it was a part of his memory that is very painful to look back on. To his own surprise, Chris made a decision to step out of his comfort zone and tell his story, a success story that other transgender people, parents, families, friends, and everyone else can relate to, and to understand what it means to us, what it means to be human.
Chris and I laugh plenty on the podcast which proves that learning new things doesn't always have to be difficult. Chris teaches a valuable lesson on how we can all get along better: What's offensive to ask? What's OK? Don't beat yourself up as long as you try. It's an amazing experience for me to connect with such an authentic storyteller.
Chris speaks at Ad Club Conference in March 2015:
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