Periods are a topic that makes many people uncomfortable because it is seen as something taboo and disgusting that we should pretend does not exist. When someone is on their period, they are expected to hide their products as they go to the bathroom out of courtesy to the people around them. However, this stigma may be reduced thanks to Pink Parcels, a UK-based tampon subscription box service.
Pink Parcels has created the “I’m On” campaign, which is meant to encourage conversation about periods and eliminate the shame surrounding this natural part of life. “I’m On” has gone viral because of Kenny Jones, the first transgender male model fronting a period campaign. This is monumental because it brings attention to the fact that periods are not exclusively experienced by women.
The campaign features Jones with women such as British fashion designer Olivia Rubin and activist Natalie Lee. They are all seen advertising shirts with slogans like “I’m On. Period.” and “I’m on and I’m strong.” Seven dollars from each purchase will be donated to the Bloody Good Period organization, which aids in supplying menstrual products to refugees and others in need of them.
Jones speaking about his experience with his period through the “I’m On” campaign provides the transgender community with the representation that they need. He explained that he had a difficult relationship with his period because even though it would make him feel annoyed, it also gave him a greater understanding of what he wanted. He also went on to say,
“I didn’t want my period and there was a lot of confusion within myself. It did make me realize that periods weren’t something I wanted to happen to me and it motivated and pushed me to further my transition.”
The only way that periods can be normalized is by having conversations about how it affects different people and this was what inspired Jones to become a part of the “I’m On” campaign. He said that he used to never feel comfortable talking about his period because of how our society is against openly speaking about them. Being on your period is seen as a sign of weakness, and is often used as an insult towards someone when they are acting irrational, despite the fact that it is just a normal biological process. Jones stated that
“Assuming periods are inhibiting to people tends to perpetuate period shame even more, and makes people even more reluctant to talk about them.”
Even though Jones no longer bleeds, his perspective on having a period is valuable and should be welcomed. Many people believe that only women are capable of menstruating and that even if it is a transgender man menstruating, he is still a woman because of it. This could not be farther from the truth because a person’s gender is not decided based off of their physical parts, but rather their internal identity.
Jones believes that transgender men “should feel more comfortable discussing periods with one another,” and I believe that his decision to be a part of the “I’m On” campaign will inspire many transgender men to open up about their own menstruation stories.