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Balls: It Takes Some to Get Some

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  300 ratings  ·  66 reviews


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
Hardcover, 264 pages
Published October 4th 2016 by Greenleaf Book Group Press
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4.26  · 
Rating details
 ·  300 ratings  ·  66 reviews

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Elyse Walters
Oct 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
WONDERFUL book!!!!!!
It's impossible not to fall in love with Chris Edwards. This is one of the best and most inspiring memoirs about the entire process in changing your gender that I've ever read!!! It's an awesome story by an awesome guy!!!!

Chris changed his gender from female to male. He grew up in Boston, graduated from Colgate University with degrees in psychology and sociology. He began his award-winning advertising career as a copywriter at Arnold Worldwide.

"The key to understanding gend
5★ for a brave memoir
“Bottom line is, your gender identity has no bearing on whether you are gay or straight. Think of it this way: Sexual orientation is who you go to bed with; gender identity is who you go to bed as.”

What’s not to love about a book that explains warts (and hairs) and all how a guy changed his life in ways and for reasons most of us never think about? You need to read this.

Imagine, if you will, waking up one morning, going into the bathroom to shave, and a lady is looking at yo
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
*3.5 stars*

A trans-journey for the privileged 1%; light, pleasant, mildly informative, and entertaining.

I've read a number of fiction and non-fiction books about transgendered people, and I'm always interested in more. I'm finally at a place where I can say that I understand a lot about trans people, including how gender is separate from sexuality, how people who are trans are ALWAYS the gender that they feel inside, even if their bodies don't reflect that truth at first, and a fair amount abou
4 stars - I really enjoyed this memoir.

As Chris Edwards put it himself: "an autobiography is about someone's entire life from start to finish. A memoir is about a certain period or event in someone's life and focuses the story around that."

This book got me completely hooked even if it's my first book about a transgender person.

What's amazing about the story? It really is Chris Edwards' experience of transitioning and becoming a MAN, and what a man!
Related image

He shared with the world his story, all his s
Growing up, Kris knew she was a boy ... until at age 6 she saw a friend peeing over a rail and realized she was missing some essential equipment. Still Kris believed that penis would eventually grow in ... until the day she hit puberty and realized that she was trapped in her female body. Kris changed from a laid-back kid to a depressed angry youth who eventually planned to go to college ... and party a lot ... and kill herself after graduation.

Kris finally shared her feelings with her family an
Oct 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I have a crush on Chris Edwards!
With a title like this, how could I possibly have passed on reading this. No way.
I was not sure if I would like it but I am open minded and curious so I started reading. I LOVED THIS BOOK!
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 l
Nov 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 really real stars rounded up to 5 because still no 1/2 stars here on GR and this is real guys!!! Non-fiction! I don't read non-fiction, so what does that tell you?

I've totally moved outside of the box on's not even fiction. That's right this one is a memoir and I have to say I'm pretty damned nervous doing a review of someone's life or rather the telling of a part of that person's life, especially when that person is sharing some incredibly personal details. I'm not even sure where

DNF at 45%

It is for sure an interesting insight into a very private life of a transgender person, and I chosen this book not just out of idle curiosity, but because I wanted to learn more about transgender people.

I started this memoir with a lot of enthusiasm, especially after reading books by Renee James. Renee James is an author of Bobbi Logan Crime Novel series that I fell in love with. They are fictional books with a great transgender character, though knowing some facts from the author's l
Amanda Jane
Oct 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Review to come
Bryony Nelson
Nov 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, favorites
This was absolutely fantastic. I have never felt so freaking proud of a stranger. I'm in awe
Tex Reader
3.5 of 5 stars – Privileged, Mild-Mannered, Yet Informative & Witty.
[I'm excited to have won this as a Goodreads First Read – so thanks, Greenleaf Book Group!]

In his epilogue, Chris Edwards expressed a hope that his story would "continue the conversation" and that by "hearing more success stories" like his it would give a "more complete picture of the transgender population." While this was not representative of most trans experiences, it still reflected some of the trauma, emotions and stru
Feb 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
What an insightful, fascinating, well-told story. I have a family friend who transitioned from female to male, and I've always had questions, but knew I couldn't ask them. Chris answered these Qs for me (and I know there's no way that T could afford the deluxe model).

Chris is my age, and I kept thinking about what it must have been like for him growing up in the 80s and 90s, knowing you're in the wrong body. People weren't as knowledgeable and accepting back then. It also helps (as Chris acknow
May 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: foreword, biography, lgbt
Reviewed for Foreword Books IndieFab Awards.

Extremely well-told story about a man's FTM transition. Not afraid to share any of the gory (and often humorous) details, Chris Edwards really gives us a great story.
Susan Walker
Sep 28, 2016 rated it liked it
The Author take us through the story of his changing from female to male. This is an honest and open telling of a difficult journey.
Andrea Cooper
Oct 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways
I received a copy of this book through the Goodreads giveaways, began reading, and couldn't put this book down.
I was incredibly moved by everything that Chris went through, most of all his incredibly bravery and sense of humor (I laughed non stop) in light of incredible odds. His bravery in writing this memoir is not lost on me either. The transgender community is underrepresented in the media - though thankfully this is beginning to change - and this was honestly the first time I have heard th
Kristen Tragethon
Jan 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
There is just so much to like in this story. It is truthful, witty and informative. You will find yourself cheering Chris on throughout his entire journey. Chris is a talented writer who entertains as he explains his deepest secrets to you. I think lots of questions are answered about many of the "behind the scenes" aspects of being transgender. He answers what many want to know but probably shouldn't ask. This book is great for other transgender people as well as those who want to understand wh ...more
Gail Alexander
Jul 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good reading

I really enjoyed reading the whole book. A lot I already knew since I have many transgender friends. But I found more information that I didn't want to ask my transgender friends since it really is none of my business .
Oct 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*ARC received via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

A witty, hopeful and optimistic view on the struggle of a man to be who he was always meant to be.
An important story with an important message that should be widely spread.

Jul 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Chris Edwards has balls!

I read this book for a few reasons. It was recommended on a podcast as a touching memoir by a writer with a good sense of humor. I also read it in order to improve my understanding of transgendered people and gender confirmation surgery. I also enjoy a good memoir, especially one that broadens my knowledge and perspective. Home run on all counts. That's my lame attempt at a ball joke!

Chris was born an anatomical female, but that never felt right to him. His family just as
Aug 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
"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 cr
Oct 17, 2017 rated it liked it
I picked this one up from a big display at the library because the author is coming to speak in November. Chris tells the story of coming of age and coming out as transgender in the 90s. He grew up in the area where I live and still lives in Boston, so I enjoyed many of the local references throughout the book.

I consider myself pretty familiar with the FTM coming out & transitioning process, so at times I didn’t feel a ton of motivation to make it through Chris’ story. When I wasn’t reading
Nov 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bio, nonfiction
Fascinating book. I'm so glad that Chris Edwards wrote this. I found it interesting that as I was reading I always felt like it was written by a man. It was, of course, but I was sometimes startled to read his reaction to his female body because I was hearing a man speaking. A courageous book. An eyeopener for those of us lucky enough to be born into the right bodies. Hopefully an inspiration to those not so fortunate. I'm glad that Chris was very clear that he was exceptionally lucky to have th ...more
Kari Brigham
Feb 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an incredibly moving memoir. It made me laugh, it made me cry, and made me keep reading! Throughout the whole book, I kept thinking, "Good for him. He knew what he needed to be happy, he knew how hard it was going to be, and he still went for it. This man really knows how to live."

Also, I think that this book is a must-read for those struggling with accepting transsexualism (either in concept or in reality). Chris Edwards succeeds in paring down this controversial topic to the facts and
Oct 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoirs
I loved this book! Chris shares in such a humorous and candid way his FTM journey. He had his ups and downs, sure, and he had to endure painful medical procedures to get there, but what really moved me the most was how supportive his family was throughout this process. Not many folks in our community get to be that lucky and have a loving supporting family behind them, or caring unconditional friends to ease the process. I found his journey truly inspiring. It's always comforting to know someone ...more
Mar 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I laughed, I cried, and more importantly I learned a lot. Chris Edwards has an important story to share about his personal and at times painful struggle with gender dysphoria, and he shares so much detail with a grace and humor that are inspiring. Curious about this topic but too polite or embarrassed to ask questions? This is the book for you. You need to read this and then share it with everyone you know. Knowledge is power, and we should all aspire to be as supportive and accepting as Edwards ...more
Mar 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Two people I knew in college are transgender women, and I couldn't imagine what that would be like, so when I stumbled across this book, I picked it up. I really didn't know anything about transgender issues, except I knew enough to know most of the things I was wondering were way too rude to ask about. This book provides a fascinating look at what it's really like and answers a lot of those questions.
Feb 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbt
The perfect anti-storm for transition--rich family, very supportive, work in family business, friends, realization early (at 5 years old), not your normal or imagined transition. Chris leads a gifted life in his efforts to transition. I enjoyed the work. It so answered many questions regarding the medical aspect of the procedures, the difficulties involved in female to male transition, the cost of transition.
Robb Stark
Sep 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
To say I loved this book would be selling it short. First, trans stories of all kinds need more visibility. Second, trans stories with happy endings need ANY visibility they can get. Too often, we are murdered or commit suicide. To see someone make it through to middle age and live happy and healthy is just.... Amazing. I teared up a lot reading this because a lot of it hit close to home for me. I would recommend this book to trans people and cis people alile, tbh.
Jessica Griffin
Aug 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
I was fortunate to hear Chris give a talk about his life and his book. I immediately bought the book. I loved it. I teared up a tiny bit but most of the time I smiled and laughed. He is honest and open about his trials and about the amazing support he received from his family, friends, and co-workers. He also does a wonderful job at acknowledging that this type of support is not common for the majority of trans individuals.
Jul 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Probably really closer to an "it's okay" than something I actively liked, but I'm rounding up because it was so easy to read and because I think I saw most of the good bits as an in person "highlight reel" before I read the book. It's definitely the best case scenario of a transition, with seemingly boundless financial and familial support, but very readable and clearly designed to be accessible to audiences with varying levels of knowledge.
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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 eventuall
“That said, many people who are transgender choose not to undergo surgery, even if they can afford it. There could be a number of reasons: pain, risk, fear, uncertain results, lack of support, or just being happy with their body the way it is and not feeling the need. Which brings me to an important point: You should never ask someone who is transgender if they have had or plan to have surgery. First, it’s none of your business. Second, it’s offensive because by asking that question you are implying that the person is not the gender they feel they are unless they alter their genitals. The fact is gender identity is not defined by what’s inside your pants; it’s defined by what’s inside your brain. It’s also something nobody questions or even thinks about unless it doesn’t match the body they were born with. This is why people who are not transgender have so much trouble understanding what it’s like to be in our shoes, and often why they are compelled to ask so many questions. While” 1 likes
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