This post was originally published in 2011. We've seen a real paradigm shift in the menstrual health space over the last 9 years, and are proud to be part of that change. Today, Aisle is more committed than ever to serving our trans and nonbinary customers' needs with dignity and respect. Thank you for supporting us in our efforts to grow and do better.
Hey everybody, Lisa here. I wanted to take some time today to share some info about the note I added to our website recently:
"Aisle's customers and staff include trans and nonbinary people who span the gender spectrum. Our team is committed to building & maintaining an inclusive, affirming, and safe space for all marginalized people seeking better solutions to their everyday and monthly needs."
Because most conversations about periods center cisgender girls & women — aka people whose gender (girl, woman) aligns with the sex (female) they were assigned at birth — it's common for people to overlook the fact that some trans and nonbinary folks have periods too.
While visibility around this issue is complicated, sensitive, and individual, continually framing menstruation as an experience that's exclusive to women is a frustrating microaggression that trans and nonbinary people regularly face. This misconception is biologically essentialist and perpetuates cissexist assumptions that harm and marginalize.
We can do better.
Another important truth to acknowledge about periods is some women don’t have them. This could 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 might be transgender or intersex.
None of these factors make a woman any less a woman than one who menstruates.
It’s so important to be mindful of women who are erased by statements that elevate periods (or pregnancy/fertility) as the ultimate source of womanhood or femininity – and to think critically and compassionately about how this line of thinking upholds cisnormativity and inadvertently hurts women.
Real respect and inclusion is about so much more than just what we say, but I care about what we say and how we say it because exclusion in language often equals (& exposes) exclusion in practice.
If you’re a trans, nonbinary, or gender nonconforming person who has comments or feedback to share, please hmu on twitter or at lisa(at)periodaisle.com – I’d love to hear from you.
In related and encouraging news, The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) issued a statement this week addressing the significant barriers to health care that trans people routinely face, and encouraging physicians to take steps towards becoming better equipped to provide accessible health care to their trans patients.
- 3 Reasons to Quit Saying "Feminine Hygiene"
- Gender Dysphoria and Your Cycle
- Do Trans People Have Periods?
- What is a "Male Body"?
- On Purportedly Gendered Body Parts
- Beyond the Pap: Preventative Care for All
- Moving Towards an Inclusive Menstruation Dialogue
- Ob-Gyns: Prepare to Treat Transgender Patients
- Always Removes the "Female" Symbol from its Products