De-Centering Gender and the Politics of Trans Allyship

As a team of cisgender women, Nasty Women Connecticut cannot continuously talk about centering feminism without engaging with what it means to also de-center gender. We want to broaden the conversation, so the NEA’s Big Read 2020 features the book “Advice from the Lights“ by transgender poet Stephanie Burt. This book is a collection of poems that explores imagining girlhood, adulthood, politics and more.

Nasty Women Connecticut is sitting in conversation with phenomenal local artists and educators to unpack what it means to decenter gender in a very binary world, and what does Trans ally-ship look and feel like, asking the questions “How do we De-Center Gender?”, “Do we need to de-center gender?”, “How does intersectionality play a role?”


Cate Barry

Cate Barry is a queer photographer living in New Haven. She helps clients - with a focus on LGBTQ+ people- feel seen and empowered through portrait photography. You can find her work at

KC Councilor

KC Councilor is a trans cartoonist living in New Haven. He is also an assistant professor in the Communication, Media and Screen Studies Department at Southern Connecticut State University. His comics are about the day-to-day experiences of being a trans and transitioning person in the world.
His graphic memoir, ​Between You and Me: Transitional Comics ​was published in 2019. You can get the book and see more of his work at

Erycka Ortiz

My name is Erycka Ortiz. I’m 21 years old from Connecticut. I’m an artist, a writer, a singer, a lover, a daughter, a healer, an empath, a organizer, and all of the many infinite’s in between.
I’m a Black Latinx visible Trans womxn. I spend my time re-imagining the world and what it looks like to heal and to love, outside of current created boxes for mankind and the ‘rules’ we were told to oblige by.
My purpose is to create. To love. To lead and be lead. To analyze my privilege and what that means in order to create space for all of us. To be apart of the collective healing.
My mission is to access liberation for all Black and POC folx. To escape the invisible chains ‘bounded’ to our people in these current times

Maxim Tobias Schmidt

Maxim Tobias Schmidt ( he/him/his ) is a multidisciplinary artist working out of central Connecticut. As of May 2019, he graduated with his BA in Art Therapy from Albertus Magnus College. Schmidt currently serves as the gallery coordinator and curatorial for the Ely Center of Contemporary Art in New Haven. As a young trans masculine artist, much of Schmidt’s work is informed by his growing up in queerness, in both overt and more non-obvious ways.