Monday, 20 November 2017

Period poverty on Trans Day of Remembrance

It's good to see talk of 'period poverty' ahead of the budget. The suggestion is we provide free sanitary products to young people in schools. 

Compared to the amount of money we are taking out of the economy through Brexit, the cost of ensuring young menstruators who need sanitary products is a piffling sum that could make a lot of lives a lot easier.

And I say menstruators rather than 'young girls' as most of the coverage of this issue does, because period poverty is also a big issue for young trans guys and many young nonbinary people. As if puberty wasn't stressful enough for everyone else it is a time of additional personal challenge if you're trans.

As a trans teen years ago, I remember how puberty feels as though your body is in open rebellion against you, doing all the wrong things and just getting worse with every passing - no pun intended - day. As a very short-sighted teenager I tried to only look in the mirror with my glasses off: I looked more like myself if things were blurry.

For trans guys, for all that it's the particular pubescent hell I didn't live through, I am sure that if you talk about having periods to anyone there's the feeling it undermines their sense of who you are as well as your own. And that can be such a hard-won recognition from others, if you have it at all. 

Doubly so in the current climate where barely a day passes without a newspaper story inciting transphobic hate.

So on Transgender Day of Remembrance, please voice your support for tackling period poverty. If you aren't already doing it for the girls: do it for the boys.

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