ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Chris made his advertising debut in 1993 as a copywriter at Arnold Worldwide, a high profile ad agency in Boston. There he used what he learned working in advertising along with his ever-present sense of humor to rebrand himself and orchestrate what was quite possibly the most widely accepted and embraced gender transition of its kind–at a time when the word “transgender” didn’t exist.
He eventually became more known for his creative talent than his transition. He was the first to use YouTube content in a TV spot with two guys rapping about McNuggets and is responsible for the earworm, Gimme back that Filet-O-Fish, gimme that fiiiiish. He was also part of the creative team on Truth, which was recently ranked one of the Top 15 Ad Campaigns of the 21st Century.
After building an award-winning career spanning nearly twenty years, Chris left his Arnold post as EVP, Group Creative Director to write his memoir, BALLS. Since then he’s become a sought-after speaker, inspiring audiences with his courageous story and compelling message that we actually have the power to control how others define us.
2016 SHELF AWARENESS BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR IN NONFICTION
AMAZON BEST SELLER IN LGBT, TRANSGENDER, AND HUMOR
Changing your gender from female to male takes balls. And if you’re going to do it in front of 500 coworkers at one of the top ad agencies in the country, you better have a pretty big set!
At a time when the term “transgender” didn’t really exist, and with support from family, friends, and a great therapist, Chris Edwards endured 28 surgeries to become the man he always knew he was meant to be. He used what he learned working in advertising along with his ever-present sense of humor to rebrand himself and orchestrate what was quite possibly the most widely accepted and embraced gender transition of its kind. He’s a pioneer who changed the perception of an entire community, and his memoir, BALLS, will touch readers’ hearts and open their minds.
Edwards is funny, brazen, and endearing, and BALLS is the hilarious and moving story about family, friends, and the courage to be your true self. It boldly and fearlessly goes where other trans memoirs haven’t. If you’ve ever felt uncomfortable in your own skin, for whatever reason, you will be inspired and empowered by this book.
“The key to understanding gender dysphoria is realizing that sexual orientation and gender identity are two different and completely separate things. One isn’t dependent on the other. This is where most of the confusion happens– for everybody”.
Chris tells his story with lots of funny anecdotes, plenty of good gossipy sorts of references to the ad-world that he works in, and a lot of good-natured self-deprecation about how intensely self-absorbed he became during his transition. Credit where credit is due, too, especially to his parents who forked out a LOT of money to pay for the surgeries (and therapy!) to help him through it.
I thoroughly enjoyed this informative peek – no this privileged PERV – under the sheets, to see what he went through.
It’s also very entertaining. Early in the piece, the head of broadcast of the ad agency (his dad is the CEO) decided to inform her team what Chris was going through and that everyone was supporting him and they’d better watch their own backs if they didn’t!
Chris Edwards is an excellent story teller. Reading this memoir is like sitting on a comfy sofa with a drink and a snack talking to him. He does not hold back nor does he spin things to show how easy everything went. I really liked how numerous times he admitted that he was lucky to come from well off parents who were willing to help pay for all of his surgeries. He says he is a lucky one who was able to go for the deluxe model that most people can’t afford. There was no arrogance involved with these statements. In fact, I found Mr. Edwards to be very humble.
I cannot begin to imagine what it feels like to be in the wrong body. After finishing Balls I am proud to say that I understand a lot more than I did going in. I love this quote: “The fact is gender identity is not defined by what’s inside your pants; it’s defined by what’s inside your brain.”
I laughed out loud in so many places and I will admit to cringing while reading about how a new penis is built. Transgender people are brave souls to be sure. I loved how Mr. Edwards faced everything with humility, grace and most importantly humor.
I have to say a big thank you to Chris Edwards for writing this book, bringing these issues out into the open where conversations can be started. Thank you for the laughs, the cringes and the education that I received from reading this book!