Jason Robert Ballard is a 24 year old from all over New York State. He first discovered his need to present male when he was 13 in a chat room. At age 17, he came out to his mother and then soon the rest of his family and for his 18th birthday received new pronouns and cards directed at male genders. He’s currently been on testosterone therapy for 3 years and underwent male chest reconstruction Fall ‘10 with Dr Kevin MaGuire of Cooperstown, NY. He has gained experience speaking through being out and open about being transgender. Having opportunities to put a friendly face to the cause where ever he goes and the conversation happens to come up. Whether it’s in front of 100+ people at a panel, or privately to a co-worker, sharing his experiences with the world has started to come naturally.
As co-founder of a quickly growing resource for the Trans* community, The Self Made Men - Jason spends almost all of his time taking baby steps toward goals of wide spread public education and Trans* awareness. Uniting resources, advertising for funds toward future engagements and speaking at transgender panels, lectures and class room discussions.
Jason has attended a few different colleges, landing finally on Nazareth in Rochester, NY. He is an advertising major, focusing on brand identity and public relations and therefore is in charge of the look and feel of The Self Made Men as well as the website and advertising. The Self Made Men actually started as a graphic design assignment meant to educate his classmates. When the professor said “design a logo and brand for your company and run with it…” even she herself says she never dreamed he’d have taken it this seriously, and this far. The Self Made Men became more than just a brand or logo. With over 700 people using it’s new pen pal system, about 250 daily views and an ever growing list of transgender links and resources, he definitely received an A on that assignment.
Jason goals are to finish his degree in advertising and one day take The Self Made Men to a point where it can pay it’s employees. A solid, building location full of local resources and the ability to open smaller chapters around the world. The staff as a whole believes that their first goal is toward public education, and that sales and traffic and being widely known will all follow that as long as they continue to do what they do with all of their heart.