“Changing a tampon outs you.”
Society ain’t what it used to be, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. In fact, breaking away from our binary, outdated, and even suffocating societal norms is a good thing, so long as we move together towards a brighter and more inclusive future.
One of the scariest things about dealing with mass societal change is feeling like nothing makes sense anymore, and that fear, which strikes many millions of Americans to their core, is perfectly normal. To put it simply: imagine that for your whole life, there are only circles and squares, and everybody is happy with the two shapes and the inherent differences between them. Then, suddenly, a triangle comes along. How are you supposed to understand what feels like an unorthodox and unexpected change?
For this very reason, transgender people today are finding themselves at the forefront of an assault by social conservatives who cannot and will not understand what it means to live a life that exists, at least while transitioning, somewhere between the two sexes.
One issue you may never have thought of, given the numerous taboos that have buried it deep from the standard topics of polite conversation, is that of male menstruation. And yup, it really is a thing.
This is the reality of men who get their period, and the important message they want you to know.
A History of Transgender People
The history of trans people is both complicated and convoluted, largely because people who felt they were born in the wrong bodies or felt the desire to transition into a life as the opposite sex were forcibly silenced by others or chose to keep quiet themselves. Otherwise, third-gender individuals might have been cast aside or deemed sick or even preternaturally afflicted while the true cause of their unhappiness or confusion was ignored.
Yet while transgender people—at least in America—are now finding themselves at the forefront of news stories and tired arguments against their rights to use public restrooms, people whose bodies, minds, and emotions have intersected our binary accepted sexes have existed since ancient times. This is especially unsurprising given that “male” and “female” roles in society are modern constructs. In truth, the more we claim the advance, the further back we go.
Meet Sawyer Devuyst
Sawyer Devuyst is an incredibly well spoken trans male who, through a recent campaign, gives fascinating insight into the lives of men who still get their period. Though he first came out as knowing he was a boy to his mom at age 6, his family and those around them kept him silenced for nearly 20 more years. It wasn’t until age 23 that Sawyer could openly admit he was a man living in a woman’s body, and he would begin taking hormones several years later.
“I never felt like I was in the wrong body and I still don’t,” he said, “I think I’m in the wrong society. I think society has expectations of what a man is and what a woman is. If you are not those two things, no one knows what to do with you.”