Today in important: The makers of period panties just created a version for trans men
The Internet appropriately flipped out this summer when the company Thinx burst onto the scene with a plan to revolutionize the feminine hygiene world by introducing “period panties,” AKA leak resistant, anti-microbial panties that can hold up to two tampons worth of blood while keeping the user feeling totally dry. Witchcraft, you say! No, just one magical lady (Miki Agrawal, CEO of Thinx) out to change the culture around periods.
During its two years in business, Thinx has for sure bumped up against our menstruation-negative culture in its effort to get the period panties word out there (Yes, you are remembering correctly, this is the same company that had their ads removed from NYC subways because apparently periods are controversial?)
Still, the good people behind Thinx have not let the stumbling blocks they’ve encountered prevent them from continuing to push for progress. Thinx’s tagline is “Period panties for the modern woman,” but as many trans men gently pointed out to the company, cisgender women aren’t the only people who get periods.
In a letter the company sent out a year ago, addressed to “People With Period,” Thinx acknowledged the following:
At the end of the missive, Team Thinx promised that they “…are here to join the conversation and raise the voices of those affected. We are here to say that bleeding does not make you female, it makes you human.”
This year, Thinx made good on their promise to support ALL people with periods. As The Cut reports, Thinx collaborated this year with trans model and artist Sawyer Devuyst to create period underwear for trans male and genderqueer consumers.
Devuyst and Thinx recently released a video illustrating just how important it is for people across the gender spectrum to have access to period panties.
As Devuyst explains, he’s lived for “five-ish” years “as a man, but also getting my period.”
“I would wear multiple pairs of underwear, with a pair of boxers on top of that, to make sure I didn’t leak anywhere or that anyone knew that I had my period. It’s definitely a safety risk. You’re in the men’s room, and somebody hears you rustling a paper in the stall because you’re changing a tampon, it outs you.”
As Devuyst reminds us, this isn’t just an issue of trans safety, but also trans male visibility.
“Even though I’m a transgender male, I still have it in my head that men are not supposed to have their period, that’s the way that society taught me. A lot of people don’t realized that some men do get their periods, because it’s just not talked about. There’s a lack of trans male visibility, and within that visibility, no one is talking about periods or menstruation because it is a source of shame. It strips away masculinity, because it is viewed as a very feminine thing. So it’s very cyclical in that way, that no one’s talking about it because it is feminine, and it stays feminine, because no one is talking about men getting their periods. It needs to be talked about more.”
We are so glad that Thinx is stepping up and acknowledging that people get their periods across the gender spectrum, and making sure they stock underwear that caters to the needs of all people with periods. Check out the beautiful and important vid below:
(Image via Thinx/YouTube)