Edwards reveals a poignant tale of becoming
BY LEX VOYTEK
Christopher Edwards certainly proves that he has a big pair with his memoir “Balls,” the story of his transition from female to male.
This memoir was both stunning and inspiring, filled with heroic honesty and laugh-out-loud anecdotes.
Edwards explains how he came out as a man, and began transitioning in the ‘90s – a time when the public was not just divided on transgender rights, but was wilfully ignorant of how transgender people were portrayed in the media.
Edwards gives insights from early in his life: Being humiliated when he was forced to wear dresses to church, and feeling like any prayer of being who he really was (a man) was shattered when he went through puberty and had his first period.
He talks about being suicidal, but how he couldn’t commit – a common thing within the transgender community, which he explains academically.
After seeing a few abusive doctors and therapists, he finally discovered one who accurately assessed his situation. His therapist realized that he had gender dysphoria and helped him, without judgement, to slowly come out to his friends, family and work colleagues. Edwards went into encouraging detail about the overwhelming support he had, and how he dealt with the initial shock his family expressed.
Edwards wrote a balanced account, giving credit to those people around him, while relating believable scenes of his family trying to talk him out of his stance – assuring him he was really a lesbian or a tomboy. Edwards explains how, eventually, his family had to give up their daughter – but with proper support, they embraced him as a son.
Impressively, Edwards recounts each stage of his transition with good humour and light-hearted readability – from using the men’s room in his office for the first time, which had me choke on my drink laughing, to his surprisingly readable details about the surgeries themselves.
I can be squeamish when it comes to gore, particularly medical gore, and Edwards wrote about the gruelling process of surgeries that took years to complete with palatable style. He talks about the multiple failures with his experimental new ‘equipment,’ and the story of how his second penis had to be put on life support – literally.
Edwards succeeds in helping to rewrite the mythology surrounding the transgender community. I was in tears by the end of this book, cheering for Edwards and his goal to use his story as a bridge for the community.
“Balls” is available in ebook and hardback.
Lex Voytek is a freelance book reviewer. Reach her as email@example.com
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