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Resources for (Depicting) Trans People and Their Menstrual Cycles

A topic by tofurocks created Mar 29, 2022 Views: 316
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Jam Host (2 edits) (+2)(-2)

Hi there, this is BáiYù of tofurocks here, and today I'm rounding up a few articles and resources for jam participants who plan to depict trans people in their entries. Lots of people have periods and it'd be great to see more media show how wide the range of experiences can be.

Disclaimer: I am simply one (1) trans masculine nonbinary person, so I cannot speak for all trans people and their experiences. I hope this thread can be a place to start having those conversations, however.

TransHub's article on Menstruation is a great place to start reading as a primer. Do note that they will refer to genitalia using common terms on that page, but acknowledge that there's a lot of other words that people are more comfortable using.

HelloClue also has a few articles such as "What it’s like to get your period when you’re trans" and "How to support trans people during their periods" that can help cis allies get a better idea of what to do for menstruating people. Clue itself is a menstruating calendar app that tracks user's periods and uses gender-inclusive language, though some of their site materials still depicts itself as a femtech company. Read their reasoning here.

Moxie's article on "How to talk about periods in an inclusive way" is another great read as well. There is a brief mention of the TERF Wizard author to dunk on her, but please keep that in mind when you click through.

Patient's article on "How to alter your language around menstruation to be more inclusive" has a few statistics too.

Who Has Periods?

Generally, it's people who are Assigned/Presumed Female At Birth, which may include some trans men, nonbinary people, and/or cis women. People who are Assigned/Presumed Male at Birth who are taking hormones to introduce more estrogen into their bodies may also experience a regular mood cycle that follows similar patterns. Unfortunately, there are few formal research papers done on this matter.

(I would love it if any trans feminine people who experience periods could provide personal anecdotes, as it's been observed by a non-insignificant amount of people to show that it definitely is a phenomenon.)

Gender Neutral Language To Use

  • You can switch to phrases like "people who menstruate/have periods/have cycles" or even "menstruating people"
  • Call it "reproductive health" when talking about subjects including pregnancy, fertility, menopause, etc.
  • Pads, tampons, menstrual cups, etc. can be referred to as "menstrual products." Avoid terms like "sanitary products" as that implies that menstruation is a dirty process that contributes to stigma.
  • In general, avoid tying periods strictly to "womanhood"

What Is Gender Dysphoria From A Menstrual Cycle Like?

Personal anecdote time! As previously mentioned, I am a trans masculine nonbinary person myself, and I can't really speak for everyone else! Please be sure to consult with plenty of other trans people and their experiences if these feelings are unfamiliar to you.

For me, my dysphoria spikes the few days before my menstrual cycle begins and definitely heightens when it starts. It's an incredibly uncomfortable, out-of-body experience characterized by a lot of brain fog, and cramps drain both my physical and emotional energy to the point of apathy (Cooking myself comfort food? Nah. Watching a TV show, playing games, reading a book? I can't concentrate. Doomscrolling? ... Damn it). Pain is amped up to 11. I can drag myself to take a shower and hot water helps, but it's difficult to remind myself that maybe a bit of chocolate or a warm mug of something to hold near my abdomen would do wonders. A lot of the time is spent with me wishing I could just crawl out of my flesh or fantasizing about starting HRT/getting bottom surgery, more so than when I'm not menstruating.


Do you have other resources and experiences to add to this thread? Go for it! If there's a topic I missed that you'd like me to gather resources on, let me know and I'll add it too.