I am Thaimae Le, a Senior at Arizona State University, majoring in English and Anthropology. I grew up in Phoenix, Arizona, but currently reside in sunny San Diego, California.
Why do you care about periods?
As someone who personally experiences periods (irregularly), it only makes sense that I would care about them.
When was the moment you realized you were interested in becoming a part of the menstrual movement?
I (virtually) met PERIOD Co-Founder Nadya Okamoto when she created an opportunity to have emotional reactions about the 2016 Presidential Election results published via HuffPost. From there, we became friends on Facebook where I learned more about her and soon discovered The Menstrual Movement. Being a college student, I had worked with several non-profit organizations, but I had never been aware that one like PERIOD existed.
At first, I was a tad immature and giggled at the thought of menstruation being a serious conversation topic. However, after watching Nadya’s TEDx Talk at TEDxPortland, it just made sense. I have experienced the Surprise! You just started your period in the middle of your busy day in public! and have had to use paper towels, or a significant amount of toilet tissue until I could get to a store or at home where I could use a tampon or a pad or a diaper. I never realized how much of that was a privilege and to an extent a luxury (the ability to use a period product, specifically).
Not once in my (then) 29 years of existence had I ever considered what homeless menstruators did when it was their time of the month. Even though I always complain about the cost of pads and tampons during my monthly trip to the drug store, I never once thought about those who don’t have an extra $20 for these sanitary products. So, that was my “Aha” moment where I was just enamored with PERIOD and knew I had to get involved.
What do you hope to accomplish during your time working with PERIOD, The Menstrual Movement?
I hope to increase public awareness of not only PERIOD, but policy and education. I would also like to help people become more comfortable talking about menstruation. Even if I can help just one person become more comfortable, aware, and knowledgeable, I will feel accomplished. Why? Because I know that when you create an impact on one person, it’s never really just one person -there’s a chain reaction.