Periods Beyond the Gender Binary - Anonymous
Updated: Aug 9, 2019
Menstruation. It happens to almost all AFAB people and I am no exception. I am lucky enough in that, as of yet, my monthly cycle has not brought too large a measure of cramps or mood swings. It has however, been an inconvenience to me ever since it’s beginning. These inconveniences, however, are less of a result of my periods themselves, but of the way that other people view them. At this point in my life, I’ve stopped really caring whether or not my peers see me carrying a tampon into the bathroom, but if I were to bring up how annoying it is to have to keep track of when I need to change them around any of my guy friends, it is anyone’s guess how uncomfortable they would become. Even with other period-having humans, unless a close friend, it is a taboo conversation topic, and as someone who likes to complain about every slight annoyance, this standard feels very unnecessary. However, there are many people who experience severe PMS symptoms, and not being able to tell a teacher or supervisor that they need to see the nurse or take a break because of the shame associated with menstruation can make a workplace or learning environment largely ineffective and even be dangerous for those experiencing PMS.
Something about me that makes my cycle experience different from the average is that I am not a binary, cisgender female. As someone who often identifies outside of the gender binary and doesn’t plan on procreating in my adult life, the inconvenience of menstruation feels entirely unnecessary. Unlike many AFAB trans* people, I don’t experience gender dysphoria related to my periods, but it nevertheless seems like a pointless inconvenience.
Perhaps if I had had a more expansive education regarding the diverse ranges of menstrual experiences, I would have a more positive relationship with my monthly shedding. More thorough education is needed to combat stigma against and potential health struggles of those who menstruate. I’ve heard so many frustrating stories from my friends about how others have reacted negatively to their menstrual needs/experiences and it needs to change.