On Tuesday, PERIOD posted a video announcing the launch of a campaign focused on gender inclusivity in the menstrual movement. We did this because, as actors in the menstrual movement, we realized how important it was for us to be gender inclusive in our own work, and wanted to encourage others to do the same. After receiving thorough feedback from many trans and nonbinary advocates, we have decided to remove that video from our online presence, and reevaluate our role on this subject.
PERIOD should have done more to reach out to people already doing work related to gender inclusivity in the menstrual movement, including Cass Clemmer (Toni the Tampon) and Jax Gonzalez (Menstrual Activist Research Collective). We also should have recognized that we do not have the tools, experiences, or skills to represent trans and nonbinary people or causes related to their liberation.
Several trans and nonbinary people have reached out to us, expressing interest in this issue and calling us in on how we can do better. We know that trans and nonbinary voices need to be at the center of this work. We have decided to take a step back and honor their voices as members of the community affected gendered menstrual language. We are as a team going to discuss how we can best conduct our menstrual health advocacy work in a way that is gender inclusive and supports the work of trans and nonbinary people, especially youth, who are working on this very important issue. We are also working with trans and non binary people to educate ourselves and make a plan moving forward for how we can support the education of others.
We are dedicated to celebrating periods by sharing stories about periods, including stories from endometriosis patients and homeless people with periods. This has always been part of PERIOD’s mission, because we care about normalizing periods and breaking the stigma. We are honored to continue producing video and text #periodstories that show a diversity of experiences with menstruation. We are grateful when people allow us to share videos or written copies of their stories with our social media network and following of excited supporters around the globe, and every story produced educates us, too, along with our followers. We really do welcome anyone interested in The Menstrual Movement to reach out, and appreciate the emotional work that goes into sharing experiences and expertise.
Moving forward, PERIOD will reevaluate the stance we have taken on in the movement for gender inclusivity in the menstrual conversation. We hope to highlight and engage trans and non binary voices to be leading the way, and hope to support them within our network and partners in pushing gender inclusivity forward. With humility, we greatly thank all who have caused us to rethink and reflect on what we have done and what we are planning on doing moving forward. We sincerely apologize to anyone who may have been triggered by the language in the video, or anyone whose work we disregarded in creating this campaign.
Nadya Okamoto — Founder and Executive Director of PERIOD.