Things Cis Boys Generally Don’t Do

This piece was first published on Medium, on May 12, 2020 “You might be transgender,” I can almost hear Jeff Foxworthy say, inside my head 🙂 This was shared in one of the many trans groups I belong to. It made me chuckle — I distinctly remember coming to this realization at one point in my life. “Don’t all boys […]

Skirting Gender: A Common Mistake Made by Parents of Trans Kids

The things you DON’T say to them can create a loud silence We often engage in gendered or gender-affirming (or even gender enforcing) words and actions with our kids. We use this to bond with them (girls’ mani-pedi day, mall clothes shopping for girls, sports or cars or such for guys). I remember my mother taking me to watch West […]

David Bowie’s Magic Mask

“This is how you can feel brave in the world.” By Cassie Brighter I ran into this story about David Bowie. While I’m a big fan of authenticity and not wearing masks, I found this story to be charming, and its message empowering. Anyway, read on – and you tell me what you think, in the comments. 🙂 The Mask […]

Choosing a New Name

Names are funny little things. A name is a single word that represents an entire individual. From nothing more than a person’s first name you can make a whole host of assumptions, many of which will be true, and many will be false. You can deduce gender, ethnicity, social class, age, religion, and even age, just to name a few, […]

On Dysphoria — Before, Enduring, and After

One of the most common themes in questions I get asked by folks is on the nature of dysphoria. How do you know your body is wrong? What does that feel like? Communicating such a mental pain is really difficult so we reach for metaphors that hopefully can summon that particular misery, or some approximation of it, up for someone […]

“You Can’t Talk Gender To A Child” — And Other LIES You Tell

You do it all the time. You’ve been doing it for years. By Cassie Brighter The stance of “you can’t talk about gender with children” is so deeply hypocritical. Adults speak gender to children ALL THE DAMN TIME. “Trucks are for boys.” “She’s such a pretty young lady.” “I bet he’s gonna be a heartbreaker!” “I’ll have a boy toy […]

So Much Living Yet To Do

On POSE, trans rights, and living as a trans woman in 2020 and beyond By Cassie Brighter After avoiding it for months, I was finally cajoled by my roommate to watch POSE. The show POSE highlights the lives of trans women in Manhattan in 1987. It shows “mothers” (older trans women — and by older we mean twenties, since life […]

The Brighter Test – Rules for Trans Representation

Today I read that the Bechdel test, also known as the Bechdel-Wallace test, made it into the English dictionary. I first heard about the Bechdel test sometime in the late 80’s, from my then partner Rosemary — who introduced me to Feminism. She challenged me to think of all the movies I had seen, and calculate how many met the […]

Sex, Gender, Orientation, Presentation

The Weird and Wonderful Diversity of Nature By Cassie Brighter There are several vectors of human experience and expression. And all of them are nuanced, complex and a lot less predictable than previously prescribed. Sexual Orientation (also called Sexuality, or Sexual Attraction) is nuanced, non-linear, and is affected by romantic drive, hormonal levels, social bias, cultural expectations and social/familial conditioning. […]

Are Lesbians Who Don’t Sleep With Trans Women Bigots?

Sexuality is much more nuanced than most people think. By Cassie Brighter We are all familiar with the vector governing the gender spectrum (with male< — >female at each end, with in-between areas such as non-binary), and the vector indicating sexual orientation (with hetero< — >homo at each end, and with in-between areas such as pansexual.) I am positing that […]

Living My Best Life — They Tell Me

Pondering a transition cliché By Cassie Brighter People sometimes congratulate me for “living my best life.” This is not my best life! Running A Non-Profit out of a laptop, at a seaside cabana in Bali, while my lover sunbathes nude nearby — THAT’S my best life. Giving a TED talk — THAT’S my best life. Getting a Netflix deal on my someday novel. Nesting […]

Men Need Clear Instructions — a #MeToo Conversation

How women can help good men — and spot bad men. By Cassie Brighter Unpopular opinion of the Day: While it’s valid and needful that we talk about transgressions against us women, and our need for -and right to- body autonomy, and the need for men to respect women’s boundaries, there is another conversation worth having. Men need better guidance, […]

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