You need to see this powerful Instagram showing "periods are NOT just for women"

Gender is a spectrum, and women are not the only people to menstruate. It is about time we started talking about it. Luckily, Cass Clemmer is doing just that. You may remember them from their awesome coloring book about menstruation. Now, we are hearing from them again about dealing with menstruation while transgender.

Clemmer took to Instagram to post their incredibly powerful message about menstruation. Cass, who identifies as transgender and uses they/them pronouns, has long been an advocate for menstruation and period stigma. When they created Toni the Tampon, the coloring book meant to raise awareness about menstruation, they changed lives.

This time, Clemmer is calling attention to the difficulty that menstruation brings to trans and non-binary folks.

Y’all know I’m trans and queer, And what that means for me all around, Is something that’s neither there nor here, It’s a happy, scary middle ground. So when I talk gender inclusion, And I wrote these rhymes to help you see, I’m not tryna bring up something shallow, Periods are honestly pretty traumatic for me. See my life is very clearly marked, Like a red border cut up a nation, A time before and a time beyond, The mark of my first menstruation. So let me take you back, To the details that I can still recall, Of the day I gained my first period, And the day that I lost it all. I was 15 and still happy, Running around, all chest bared and buck, Climbing trees, digging holes, And no one gave a single fuck. I mean I think my ma was worried, So I went and grew out my locks, A sign I was normal, still a girl, A painted neon sign for my gender box. So, the day I got my period, My god, a day so proud, This little andro fucked up kid, Had been bestowed the straight, cis shroud. The relief got all meshed up in my pain, In that moment, I sat down and cried, Just thanking god I was normal, While mourning the freedom that had died. Everyone told me my hips would grow, I looked at them and couldn't stop crying, "What's wrong with you? You'll be a woman!" They kept celebrating a child dying. See my body had betrayed me, That red dot, the wax seal, On a contract left there broken, A gender identity that wasn’t real. Most people deal with blood and tissue, And yet my body forces me to surrender, Cause every time I get my cycle, Is another day I shed my gender. My boobs betray me first, I feel them stretching out my binder, I send up questions, "am I cursed?" And wish to god that she was kinder. The five days it flows, I try to breathe, I dissociate, While my body rips outs parts of me, Leaving nothing but a shell of hate. The blood drips from an open wound, Of a war waging deep inside my corpse, The battle between mind and body, Immovable object; unstoppable force. #bleedingwhiletrans #menstruator #genderinclusion #mencanmenstruate #protectranskids #periodpride #genderdysphoria #menstruationmatters #ifmenhadperiods [PLEASE SHARE!🌈]

A post shared by Toni the Tampon (@tonithetampon) on

There is a lack of cultural understanding when it comes to periods.

As Clemmer points out, periods are not just for women, and not all women have periods. For as much stress periods can cause cis-women, they can be even more traumatic for trans and non-binary people. Clemmer realized that even close friends had not considered what menstruation was like for them.

“I remember sharing for the first time with a friend of mine that I wasn’t able to wear my binder that day because I was on my period and my boobs had swelled up so much that it made it hard to breathe,” Clemmer told HuffPo.

This is one of the reasons it is important to discuss menstruation openly.

Even if you think you understand, you may not be aware of the difficulties of menstruation for some people.

Clemmer has received a mixed bag of reactions, naturally, because it is the internet. They pointed out that they will continue fighting stigma because of the people it helps. But since the post, they have also received a lot of positive feedback from trans and non-binary people.

If you’re looking to support Clemmer’s work, you can support Toni the Tampon. Clemmer created Toni, as a character and coloring book, back in 2016. The coloring book brings awareness to the many ways to manage your period. The book also reminds people that menstruation is not gender specific.

The coloring book is available for purchase on Amazon. You can follow Clemmer’s work on Instagram, Twitter, and their personal website.

We love that they continue to make waves and help everyone feel more understood.

Kudos to Clemmer and ending period stigma!

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