Finding Empowerment Through Telling Your Story and Others

The Publish Your Purpose Press Anthology and how Brandi Lai brought so much of herself and her passion into this work.

Today’s Invisible Stories guest is Publish Your Purpose Press’s own Brandi Lai. Brandi is a contributor and the mastermind behind the creation of the anticipated The Real Lives Of Transgender and NonBinary Humans, the first anthology from PYP. Brandi also recently started her own business, Best-Laid Pens, and she specializes in ghost writing and development editing. Brandi is passionate about helping other people share their stories and making a platform for other people to amplify their voices.

In this podcast, Brandi and I discuss what it was like for her to be working on this new PYP project, and being the person spearheading this anthology. Brandi was passionate from the start about this project, and put her heart and soul into getting this book to happen. Brandi tells us a bit more about 

  • The emotional and cathartic experience of working with the contributors, and relating to their stories on a personal level. 
  • How as the collector of these contributors’ stories, she had to put herself into their story to capture their voice, and how that triggered her own emotions from her past. She had to learn how to cope with her own emotions and reflect back on her own experiences, while still making sure the contributors’ words were authentic and meaningful. 
  • The ultimate goal of this anthology, which is to reach those trans and nonbinary people who are struggling or going through similar experiences, and give them hope for their own future. This book may also help cisgender people learn more about the lives and experiences of transgender and nonbinary individuals, and to act as a guide for those who love trans and NB people about how to support and relate to those people in their lives. 
  • The ways this process of collecting these stories has empowered her to share her own story, and to become an entrepreneur herself much like the contributors to the anthology have done.

The Real Lives of Transgender and Nonbinary Humans: A Publish Your Purpose Anthology

We all struggle with our identities, how we show up as our authentic selves, and who we want to see when we look in the mirror.

This powerful collection of stories, told by transgender and nonbinary people of all ages and from all walks of life, is an inspiring tribute to the human spirit. They are our children, parents, siblings, neighbors, friends, and colleagues. Many have faced daunting challenges and have overcome the hardships of poverty, racism, transphobia, and alienation from their families. Some have become activists; some are entrepreneurs; others simply want to make a difference in one person’s life. But wherever their journeys have taken them, they are so much more than their gender transitions. This book is a testament to the power of hope, determination, and the possibilities open to everyone when they learn to love and accept themselves for who they really are.

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Key Takeaways

[00:05:50] Brandi: [00:05:50] So at the beginning I was ecstatic and I was filled with like such [00:06:00] purpose for writing this book and for bringing it to life. And I kind of figured out my own way of managing it from listening to the contributors, tell their stories to letting things flow naturally.

[00:06:19] And a lot of what their stories, a lot of what they said reaffirmed my own. It reaffirmed my own experiences and it felt like this. Like emotional time for both me and a lot of the contributors where we’re kind of like. Relating to one another, this happened, this experience happened to me. Oh, I know how that is.

[00:06:43] This exact thing happened to me, like coming out, um, starting on hormones, trying to navigate the healthcare industry and trying to figure out where to possibly go for surgeries and different things and [00:07:00] how to navigate social spaces and had to navigates, coming out to your job. All of those things I related to, and it was a beautiful moment, but it was also very hard because I put a lot of my heart and soul into turning those interviews into words on a page.

[00:07:24] And it’s not as easy as copying and pasting and saying, there it is. It’s done. Fantastic. You know, it’s, it’s a lot of. Being in the person’s shoes and be, especially in those very, very difficult moments. Like, um, if I can talk about some of the questions that I asked some of the interview is, was, um, what was one of your darkest days, or would you be willing to share one of your darkest days and a lot of those moments, like being at that low point and having to sort of write about those moments.

[00:08:00] [00:07:59] It reminded me of my own. And because I’m trying to put my being into someone else’s story in order to fully capture their voice, it’s took an emotional weights on me where I, there were times where I had to say, I can’t do this right now. I’m so overwhelmed. And I need to take a step away from this for a couple hours or a day just to.

[00:08:27] Recenter myself and be like, okay, I’m not there. This happened. And it’s okay. Like I’m okay. They’re okay. And we’ve kind of, we’ve grown from these experiences to say the least they were there. Definitely some very traumatic and hard experiences. Um, and. It’s a little, it’s allowed me to reflect on my own past [00:09:00] life.

[00:09:00] And when I, I created my story at the very end, because I wanted to capture everybody’s voice first to kind of see how it was going to put everything together. And it really helped shape how I w how and what I told him my own story.

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