Gender Diversity

Real Men Eat Quiche

What’s a “REAL” man? What’s a “REAL” woman?

Cassie Brighter
3 min readDec 11, 2022


A trans kid of a family I know is having a really rough time of it. He’s beginning his puberty, and he recently got his first menses. He is suicidal, and says “What’s the use? I’ll never be a real man.”

We are all real.

I’ll never be a cisgender woman. And I’m at peace with that. Instead, I am a woman of gender-diverse experience. A woman with a unique path. As a result, I have unique insights and unique wisdom.

What’s a REAL man? How big does his dick need to be for him to be real? How much does he need to bench for him to be real? How many shots must he be able to drink for him to be “real”?

It puts me in mind of all these cliches, “real men love Jesus,” “real men don’t water their whisky,” whatever. (Remember the book Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche?)

Does anyone know about the No True Scotsman fallacy? (In general, I encourage you all to study fallacies with your children. I went through all the ones I could find with my kids — it teaches critical thinking.)

I AM a real woman.
I am not a CIS woman, and I know that.
I am also not a tall woman. I am not an American woman. I am not a skinny woman. And I’m no longer a young woman.
And I’m still very much real.

What’s a real man? What’s a real woman?
Historically, men were the ruling caste, and women were the subservient caste. (Look at Iran.) Is that what you mean?

Then I’m not a woman — I have my own job, I can drive, and I have my own credit card.

What’s the measure of a real man? Violence? Muscle? Howmuchyoubench? Going to war? Raping women?
I certainly hope not.

The lines of gender are blurring. And there is FREEDOM for everyone in that. Real men cry. Real men change diapers…



Cassie Brighter

Activist. Public speaker. Writer. Community Organizer. Mom. Creator & Host, Empowered Trans Woman Summit. Managing Editor,