A transgender artist launched a strong photograph final week in an try and broaden the cultural understanding of the several types of individuals who expertise menstruation.
Cass Clemmer, who makes use of they/them pronouns, posted the photo of themself on Instagram on July 12, depicting them free-bleeding whereas holding up an indication that reads “Periods are not just for women #BleedingWhileTrans.”
The photograph was accompanied by a poem the artist wrote for a spoken phrase occasion at a menstrual health convention final summer time.
Clemmer, who works as a menstrual health activist, informed HuffPost that they determined to stage the photograph after the backlash to The Adventures of Toni the Tampon: A Period Coloring Book a coloring guide they created to introduce kids of all genders to the human expertise of menstruation.
“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 advised HuffPost. “We had been friends for awhile and she’s a feminist activist, but when I realized that not even she had considered what it was like for people like me to experience bleeding on a (ir)regular basis I knew that I had to go public with my story to help shift the mindset around tying periods to womanhood and femininity. Not all people who menstruate are women, and not all women menstruate.”
While Clemmer informed HuffPost that a good portion of the response to their photograph has been rooted in transphobia, they’ve seen individuals who have broadened their very own understanding of transgender menstrual expertise and discovered from the photograph.
“There are a lot of people who have never considered what it’s like to get your period while not identifying as a woman and I have seen a lot of educational and respectful conversations between commenters on my thread that give me a lot of hope for the future,” Clemmer continued. “My favorite reactions, however, are and always will be the response, I get from fellow trans and non-binary folks who have written to me to say that because of my poem, they feel less alone in the world. For me, there’s no greater motivation and honor than that.”
Clemmer’s menstrual health activism additionally extends into the publishing world, having created their very own publishing entity called “Bloody Queer Publishing.” Their work of Toni the Tampon may even proceed, with Clemmer planning to take a road trip with the character “to keep making people laugh and smile while smashing the period taboo.”
Want to see extra from Toni the Tampon and this artist’s activist efforts? Head here.