A Transgender Man Has Joined A Campaign To Battle Period Shaming

A Transgender Man Has Joined A Campaign To Battle Period Shaming

Gender is not determined by anatomy.
314
views

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.

Cover Image Credit: Pink Parcel

Popular Right Now

I Am A Female And I Am So Over Feminists

I believe that I am a strong woman, but I also believe in a strong man.
1047985
views

Beliefs are beliefs, and everyone is entitled to their opinion. I'm all about girl power, but in today's world, it's getting shoved down our throats. Relax feminists, we're OK.

My inspiration actually came from a man (God forbid, a man has ideas these days). One afternoon my boyfriend was telling me about a discussion his class had regarding female sports and how TV stations air fewer female competitions than that of males. In a room where he and his other male classmate were completely outnumbered, he didn't have much say in the discussion.

Apparently, it was getting pretty heated in the room, and the women in the class were going on and on about how society is unfair to women in this aspect and that respect for the female population is shrinking relative to the male population.

If we're being frank here, it's a load of bull.

SEE ALSO: To The Women Who Hate Feminism

First of all, this is the 21st century. Women have never been more respected. Women have more rights in the United States than ever before. As far as sports go, TV stations are going to air the sports that get the most ratings. On a realistic level, how many women are turning on Sports Center in the middle of the day? Not enough for TV stations to make money. It's a business, not a boycott against female athletics.

Whatever happened to chivalry? Why is it so “old fashioned" to allow a man to do the dirty work or pay for meals? Feminists claim that this is a sign of disrespect, yet when a man offers to pick up the check or help fix a flat tire (aka being a gentleman), they become offended. It seems like a bit of a double standard to me. There is a distinct divide between both the mental and physical makeup of a male and female body. There is a reason for this. We are not equals. The male is made of more muscle mass, and the woman has a more efficient brain (I mean, I think that's pretty freaking awesome).

The male body is meant to endure more physical while the female is more delicate. So, quite frankly, at a certain point in life, there need to be restrictions on integrating the two. For example, during that same class discussion that I mentioned before, one of the young ladies in the room complained about how the NFL doesn't have female athletes. I mean, really? Can you imagine being tackled by a 220-pound linebacker? Of course not. Our bodies are different. It's not “inequality," it's just science.

And while I can understand the concern in regard to money and women making statistically less than men do, let's consider some historical facts. If we think about it, women branching out into the workforce is still relatively new in terms of history. Up until about the '80s or so, many women didn't work as much as they do now (no disrespect to the women that did work to provide for themselves and their families — you go ladies!). We are still climbing the charts in 2016.

Though there is still considered to be a glass ceiling for the working female, it's being shattered by the perseverance and strong mentality of women everywhere. So, let's stop blaming men and society for how we continue to “struggle" and praise the female gender for working hard to make a mark in today's workforce. We're doing a kick-ass job, let's stop the complaining.

I consider myself to be a very strong and independent female. But that doesn't mean that I feel the need to put down the opposite gender for every problem I endure. Not everything is a man's fault. Let's be realistic ladies, just as much as they are boneheads from time to time, we have the tendency to be a real pain in the tush.

It's a lot of give and take. We don't have to pretend we don't need our men every once in a while. It's OK to be vulnerable. Men and women are meant to complement one another — not to be equal or to over-power. The genders are meant to balance each other out. There's nothing wrong with it.

I am all for being a proud woman and having confidence in what I say and do. I believe in myself as a powerful female and human being. However, I don't believe that being a female entitles me to put down men and claim to be the “dominant" gender. There is no “dominant" gender. There's just men and women. Women and men. We coincide with each other, that's that.

Time to embrace it.

Cover Image Credit: chrisjohnbeckett / Flickr

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

I Had To Tell My Mom Her Only Daughter Would Now Be Her Son

No one else's approval should ever take priority over your own, no matter what you face in life.

907
views

It was three years ago on March 27 when I did the scariest thing I've ever experienced in all of my (almost) 22 years of living; I told my mom I was transgender.

The first time I had ever told anyone the secret that had been eating me alive was two days prior when I came out to my best friend, Cali. I knew she was going to accept me and nothing would change but it still overwhelmed me with anxiety trying to find the words to say. It took a solid 20 minutes trying to type out the perfect text to explain what I was feeling, and even after those 20 minutes I don't think I ever got it right, but my shaky hands hit send anyway. For the first time, it was out in the open. I wasn't the only one alive who knew I was living a lie. As frightening and nerve-wracking as it was, it felt so good to get out in the open.

The 27th was Easter Sunday, I only remember this because I remember having the thought "well, way to ruin Easter Sunday for your mom, asshole." We had a family breakfast that morning, I didn't know it at the time, but that was the last family event where I was looked at as the daughter/granddaughter, thank God. Had I known, I probably would've made a scene to celebrate. Anyway, my mom was bartending that night at our local VFW and I was about to pop in to say goodbye like I always did before I made the 4 hour journey back to school at Edinboro University where I was wrapping up the last of my freshman year. I sat in my car outside the main entrance and stared blankly at my steering wheel for what felt like hours. I didn't want to tell her, that was the last thing I wanted to do, but I needed to. I couldn't take living in secret from the most important person in my life anymore, she needed to know.

I thought about what was about to happen and my brain immediately played the worst case scenario over and over in my head. "She's going to hate me, she's going to disown me, and she's going to kick me out. I'll be alone and on my own." My dizzy and overwhelmed head fell into my shaky palms and I sat hunched over trying to keep myself from hyperventilating. I knew all of these things were a possibility, but I also knew that the happiness that would come from transitioning would outweigh any of the negative situations I would face coming out. My happiness and my freedom was my first priority. I knew that I accepted myself, so it didn't matter if anyone else did, my mother included. I couldn't keep myself in the dark anymore, I didn't think I would survive it. I was prepared to walk out of there in 10 minutes on my own, myself against the world.

Finally, somehow, I worked up the courage to head inside. I walked right up to the bar (I was only 19 but nobody had a problem with it because nobody dared to give my mom any issues) and plopped myself next to my mom's, at the time, boyfriend, Joe. He was a good guy, he was always looking out for me, so it was no surprise that he instantly caught the anxious vibe radiating off of me. He was captivated by the football game until I sat down and instantly he turned to me and asked what was up. Not the ice breaking, small talk making "what's up?" but the kind of "what's up?" that reads "I know somethings off, spill your beans." "Nothing" I insisted. After a few minutes of painfully awkward small talk, he grabbed me by the shoulder and walked me out near the entrance doors.

"Let's hear it kid."

He just knew something was really wrong, crazy how people can pick up on that kind of thing. I told him I had to tell my mom something but I was scared to because she'd hate me. He asked what it was but I couldn't find the words. I felt like I was going to vomit. I tried to talk but nothing came out.

"Is it about you?" I nodded. "Are you okay? Did something happen to your car?" I was notorious for flat tires and stupid little accidents so it was no surprise that was his first thought.

"No, I'm fine, or I will be, but she's going to hate me and kick me out and disown me…" I kept rambling, listing off all the terrible things I thought was about to happen.

He stopped me, and again, he must have just known, "Do you feel like you're not…you? Do you feel like you need to change yourself?"

I stared at him in disbelief, how in the world did he know?

Tears fell from my eyes instantaneously and he wrapped me in a hug. He calmed me down and assured me my mom was still going to love me endlessly and nothing would change. He told me how they've talked about what would happen if this exact situation were to happen. I felt better.

Just then, the doors swung open and my mom bolted in looking like she had just seen a ghost. She immediately started asking a million questions a minute.

"What's wrong? Who's hurt? Are you okay? Logann, (my name before I had it legally changed, yes I just dropped the second N when I did. A drastic change, I know.) what's going on?"

Again, I was at a loss for words. I couldn't speak no matter how hard I tried. And I did try, nothing escaped my mouth, not even a sound. I couldn't breathe, and felt an anxiety attack just about to take place. I started to hyperventilate, my vision growing black. I couldn't get enough air into my lungs and it felt like I was breathing through a straw just after sprinting a marathon.

Joe must have sensed that because he took over and said, "remember that conversation we had about our kids? What we would do if they wanted…more? They weren't themselves?"

I saw it fall into place and click in her head, she turned to me and asked if that were true. I don't remember what I said or did, I think I worked myself up so much that I blacked out. The next thing I knew my mom had embraced me in the biggest bear hug I've ever received in my life. Her arms almost squeezing the life out of me, I could feel her start to cry as her chest began to shake against mine. She kept repeating that she loved me and nothing could ever change that. She finally pulled away but held me at an arm's length and made sure I knew that she still loved me. She was only upset that I felt I couldn't talk to her about this sooner.

"You're my kid no matter what body you have. I don't know the first thing about any of this but I promise we'll get you the help you need ASAP. Nothing's wrong with you. It'll be okay, I promise it will be okay. I'll make sure of it."

The wave of relief that washed over me sent me to cloud nine. I felt invincible and like I could conquer the world. I still feel that today, just thinking about it. Not many people who want to begin transitioning have the same wonderful experience I had with a mother so accepting, which breaks my heart. Since day one, my mom has been my biggest fan and my biggest supporter. She's bent over backwards to get me the help and resources I needed. It is because of her that just 3 short months later I was able to start hormone replacement therapy. It is because of her that the November that followed, I was able to get my top surgery and she was the greatest nurse during my recovery. It is because of her that I was able to get my name legally changed. I owe all the major and beautiful milestones in my transition to her. She truly is my rock and I wouldn't be the man I am today without her. I hope I'm making her proud.

I got extremely lucky with how my mom reacted to the thought of her only daughter becoming her son. I feel blessed every single day. It made and still makes my transition sail so much smoother. There will never be enough thank you's. However, in the moments leading up to telling her, I accepted the possibilities that she would not approve. That is something everyone who wants to transition needs to understand. Not everyone will accept you or welcome this "new you" with open arms. Just because someone is your family doesn't mean their obligated to accept you, I learned that the hard way. All that matters is that you accept yourself. No one else's approval should ever take priority over your own, no matter what you face in life.

Related Content

Facebook Comments