I participated in a roundtable about this a while back that was published on The Establishment. I highly recommend having a look, there are some interesting answers: Trans menstruation Roundtable
Some trans guys have periods. Some non-binary people have periods.
If you listen to sex education and the media, only women have periods.
It’s harmful for all the usual ways:
- It’s exclusionary
- It’s degrading
- Trans and non-binary folx are denied the appropriate healthcare.
- It leads to violence due to ignorance.
Periods suck. They’re painful and messy. But they happen, and we need to better educate all members of society about them. Because they don’t just affect the person who has them: I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve had to cancel plans because I’m bedridden with pain, or lay crying whilst someone rubbed my back to comfort me.
Then there’s the advertising, the branding of packaging, the language used to talk about it all, all directed at “women”, in so far as what the advertising industry things women want to hear. How many boxes of tampons are pink or purple, bedecked in flowers? The looks guys get from the cashiers when buying what are classed as “feminine hygiene products”.
The fact there aren’t sanitary bins in the men’s bathrooms. Which forces folx into the wrong bathroom, by the way.
The education system seems to change too: I remember being in P7, and the “boys” were all removed from the room so the “girls” could get a lecture on how the uterus works. And yes, my 11 year old male classmates would probably have complained about how it was gross and they didn’t want to know, but I know a couple who came afterwards to ask what they had told us, and they were always the ones who were most considerate when I was feeling lousy with pain.
We keep making calls for a shake up in sex education, to make sure it includes folx of all gender and sexual identities, it’s about time it stopped dividing sexual health by gender too.