Why he's interesting: This transgender teen's short story House, Not Home won the 2014 Scenarios USA Real Deal Contest and earned him the opportunity to work with The Vampire Diaries director Joshua Butler on turning it into a screenplay. The film — about Terran, a gender-fluid teenager who finds the courage to be himself in the face of bullying, violence and rejection — premiered at the 2015 Cleveland International Film Festival in March and was picked up by Showtime in May.
Finding Home: In 2014, Edge was struggling with hands-on projects at Facing History New Tech High School that required conversation about gender identity. So he decided to put his pen to paper. "I knew I was trans but I wasn't sure how everyone would react, so I ended up creating Terran. I kept [his gender] vague so any person could identify with Terran despite whatever their specific gender might be."
Creating Characters: Ever since the seventh-grade, Edge has been looking to fiction to find relatable characters. "I found maybe six books that had a trans male character and even less that had trans female characters. I want to keep on writing fiction, especially characters like Terran, because I feel like there's not enough representation when it comes to trans people."
College Tour: While Edge has visited Eastern Michigan University, Kent State University and Berea College in Kentucky, he's still looking for the right fit. "Whenever you ask someone what they look for in a college, they'll say, 'Wherever my friends are going,' and 'I want to be as far away from my family as possible.' I'm worried about if I'm going to be roomed with a girl, if I'm going to be called the wrong name, or if I'm not going to have a safe place to go on campus."
Power Pups: When the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo got its first pack of New Guinea singing dogs in 2008, it was love at first sight for Edge. The rare breed has the ability to howl at a single pitch, so that together they sound like a chorus. "They're about as agile and act like cats more than they do dogs. They're just really weird and adorable."
Stitch in Time: Edge taught himself how to sew after discovering a series of Web comics with characters dressed in intricate patterns. "I'm a huge nerd. I used to want to do a fashion line of those hats that have the little animal ears."