Hi everybody, Lisa here. I wanted to take a moment today to tell you a bit more about the note on gender that I added to our website recently. For those who haven’t seen it yet, it reads:
Lunapads users and staff are cisgender, transgender, nonbinary, and genderqueer individuals who span the gender spectrum. Our team is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming space for all those seeking better solutions to their everyday and monthly needs.
Because most conversations about periods focus on cisgender girls and women — that is, people whose gender identity (girl, woman) aligns with the sex (female) they were assigned at birth — it can be easy to forget that some transgender men, genderqueers, and nonbinary people have periods too. While visibility around this issue is complicated, talking about menstruation as an experience or function exclusive to women is a frustrating microaggression that trans & nonbinary people deal with constantly – it perpetuates a cisnormative, gender essentialist view that harms and marginalizes. We can do better than that.
Another powerful and important truth to acknowledge about periods is that some women don’t have them. This may be due to menopause, stress, disease, or a hysterectomy. Some women may have never started menstruating due to a variety of medical conditions, or they may be transgender or intersex. None of these make a woman any less a woman than one who menstruates. Be mindful of those who are made invisible or invalid by statements that elevate periods as the ultimate source of womanhood or femininity. Consider the implications of these statements, and how your words may inadvertently hurt women.
Inclusion is about so much more than just what we say, but I care about what we say and how we say it because I believe that exclusion in language equals, and exposes, exclusion in practice.
If you’re a trans, genderqueer, nonbinary, or gender non-conforming person who has comments or feedback, please feel free to get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org – I’d love to hear from you. That invitation extends to anyone who’d like to talk about any barriers they face in making the switch and/or getting on board with what we do here at Lunapads.
In related news, I read about a really encouraging development in the OB-GYN world this week that I want to share. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology has issued a statement addressing the significant barriers to health care that trans people routinely face, encouraging physicians to take steps towards ensuring that they are better equipped to provide accessible health care to their patients. Check out the press release here: Ob-Gyns: Prepare to Treat Transgender Patients and let’s keep talking.
Why Inclusion Matters
My Period & Me: A Trans Guys Guide to Menstruation Everyday Feminism
Trans 101 Sylvia Rivera Law Project
On Purportedly Gendered Body Parts by Dean Spade
Beyond the Pap: Preventative Care for All
3 Examples of Everyday Cissexism Everyday Feminism
Julia Serano on “Cis”
Moving Towards an Inclusive Menstruation Dialogue s.e. smith
OB-GYNs Instructed to Provide Better Care for Transgender Patients Slate
Ob-Gyns: Prepare to Treat Transgender Patients Health Canal