011: Writing Yourself A New Life Prescription with Perry Cohen

Sep 29, 2020

Perry Cohen realized a lifelong dream of combining his love of the outdoors, his commitment to social justice, his own trans & queer identity, and his professional life when, in 2014, he founded The Venture Out Project. Perry has extensive wilderness experience, having led multi-day hiking and mountain biking trips in the southeastern US.  He is an avid backcountry skier, hiker, biker and runner and just a few summers ago rafted the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon.  Perry is a certified WFR and lifeguard.  Perry is an alumnus of Outward Bound where he also worked.  He was the Trip Director at Camp Aranu'tiq and has worked for many years as a coach, teacher, trainer and camp counselor with students ranging from age 7 to 65. Perry is proud to work with High 5 Adventure as consultant around strategic planning and leadership. Perry is also an Eddie Bauer One Outside Leader, acknowledged for his efforts in making the outdoors a safe and welcoming place and experience for LGBTQ+. As a Leader, Perry is helping to build internal education programs for staff, helping to shape the way the brand comes to life for consumers and sharing the inspiration of the outdoors through his adventures. In support of Venture Out’s mission to make both outdoor and traditional education settings more affirming of trans and gender diverse folks, Perry also works with colleges, schools, camps, and other organizations to deliver comprehensive and progressive workshops around gender diversity. Prior to founding Venture Out, Perry was the Head of Leadership Development and Talent Management at C&S Wholesale Grocers, the largest food grocery distributor in the US.  Perry  holds a B.A. and M.Ed from The University of Pennsylvania and an MS in Sport Management from The University of New Mexico.  He lives in Northampton, MA with his partner, their 9 year-old twins, and two dogs. 

​Show Highlights:​

  • Why children are our best mirrors and best teachers
  • How the Little Mermaid story made Perry's explanation to the kids more understandable
  • How his kids took the news when Perry told them that he is ready to transition
  • The initial reaction of the people in Perry's workplace when he started taking hormones for the social and physical transition
  • How important pronouns are for transgenders for their mental health
  • Kristen's experience with gender transitioning inside her family
  • The reaction of Perry's parents when he decided to transition from working in his family's company to his passion
  • How The Venture Out Project was conceptualized through Perry's love of going outdoors
  • Why Perry is more afraid of people than animals in the outdoor
  • How Perry's group went on to hike further in the night just to not spend the night with a person who was threatened by them 
  • On the other hand, why Kristen is not too fond of going outdoors
  • How tables have turned when Perry was the one being afraid of 
  • What happened to the intimacy of Perry's relationships after he transitioned


Check out the ventureoutproject.com
You may also find more about Perry's work with Eddie Bauer

Stay connected with Kristen!

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