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Creating a Better Future For All Who Menstruate



5 min read

Thinx Periodical Creating a Better Future For All Who Menstruate

by Meg Loughman | 06/21/2023

This Pride Month, Thinx is proud to be teaming up with the Brooklyn Community Pride Center, an organization advancing LGBTQIA+ liberation through resources, programs, partnerships, and advocacy. Their work to uplift and support the Brooklyn community has made it a premier destination for those all across the borough and beyond since 2008.

To that end, we sat down with a few members of their team (who have chosen to remain anonymous) in conversation on LGBTQIA+ menstrual care, period poverty, and envisioning a better future for all people with periods.

Thinx: what do you wish more people knew about LGBTQIA+ menstrual care — specifically when it comes to trans, nonbinary, or gender non-conforming people? 

LM: That not everyone who experiences menstruation is a woman/girl. I always feel left out of conversations about period care when people talk about women as being synonymous with people who have periods. Not all women menstruate, and not all people who menstruate are women. 

BN: I wish people understood that there are folks of all presentations that menstruate and you can’t accurately make assumptions about who does or does not menstruate - even if you know someone’s gender identity or their sex assigned at birth. 

SM: Period products are not always easy to find access to but many community centers offer free period products. 

how have you experienced a lack of accessibility to period products, especially in public spaces? Or lack of access to gender-affirming products to manage menstruation? 

BN: It’s rare to find period products in public restrooms in general, but I have never seen period products in restrooms that are designated for men. Even when transmasculine folks bring their own period products into men’s restrooms, the facilities often lack trash cans within the stalls, resulting in fear of outing yourself by walking out of the stall to throw away a used period product. Reusable period products, like period underwear or menstrual cups, can help to remove this concern, but this is also indicative of a broader need to make public restrooms gender neutral. 

SM: There are so many times where I need a period product but I’m at a dance class or restaurant and I have to either do the old toilet paper trick, suffer, or leave and go buy some products that are overpriced, while knowing I have a stock at home. 

beyond just navigating the stigmas of menstruation, trans and nonbinary people are more likely to be disproportionately impacted by the effects of period poverty. what is your vision for a future where everyone who menstruates can feel supported? 

LM: My vision is that we can all have access to low-waste period products without having to pay huge amounts of money for them. 

BN: My vision is for all folks who menstruate to have access to free period products that are affirming and comfortable for them. 

SM: I would like for folks that need to buy period products to not have to experience that fearful awkward moment of going to buy period products and feeling ashamed when they go to check out. I’d also like for people that are financially struggling to have access to free period products, so that they can save their money for more pressing issues like rent, food, and clothing. Period products can take a larger toll on people's paychecks than we would like to admit.

how does the Brooklyn Community Pride Center support folks who menstruate in your local communities?

LM: We provide period products for free in our Pride Pantry and in all of our gender-neutral bathrooms at both our sites. Folks can take whatever products they need without having to ask for them! 

BN: We created our Pride Pantry for community members to access free food, safer sex products, and personal care products — including period products — in an affirming space. Folks can come to our Center in Bed-Stuy any time during opening hours and take what they need from the Pride Pantry — no need to complete an intake form or disclose personal information. In addition to our Pride Pantry, we provide free period products in our restrooms, all of which are gender neutral. This also allows trans folks to access period products in a private space, rather than potentially outing themself by taking them from a public space, like our Pantry or their local store.

You can support Brooklyn Community Pride Center by making a donation. To learn more about their work, check out their website and Instagram.

Meg Loughman (she/her) is a bayou-born, Brooklyn-based writer & content strategist. When she’s not journaling to lofi beats at a cafe somewhere, she likes to moodboard and partake in slow, luxurious breakfasts. You can keep up with her work on her website  and tune into her sporadic dispatches & musings on Instagram .

by Meg Loughman

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