Transgender Activist Makes Important Statement About Menstruation
A transgender, non-binary artist has stuck two-fingers up to the haters by sharing an image which shows themselves 'free bleeding' in public.
Cass Clemmer is an artist from Washington DC who does not confirm to a specific gender, and prefers to use they/them pronouns. And they certainly caused quite a stir online after uploading the photo on July 12.
The photo features Cass sitting on a park bench, having bled through their khaki pants, while holding a sign that reads: 'Periods are not just for women.' Adding the hashtag #BleedingWhileTrans.
Along with the image, they shared a poem:
Y'all know I'm trans and queer,
And what that means for me all around,
Is something that's neither there nor here,
It's a happy, scary middle ground.
So when I talk gender inclusion,
And I wrote these rhymes to help you see,
I'm not tryna bring up something shallow,
Periods are honestly pretty traumatic for me.
See my life is very clearly marked,
Like a red border cut up a nation,
A time before and a time beyond,
The mark of my first menstruation.
So let me take you back,
To the details that I can still recall,
Of the day I gained my first period,
And the day that I lost it all.
I was 15 and still happy,
Running around, all chest bared and buck,
Climbing trees, digging holes,
And no one gave a single fuck.
I mean I think my ma was worried,
So I went and grew out my locks,
A sign I was normal, still a girl,
A painted neon sign for my gender box.
So, the day I got my period,
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My god, a day so proud,
This little andro fucked up kid,
Had been bestowed the straight, cis shroud.
The relief got all meshed up in my pain,
In that moment, I sat down and cried,
Just thanking god I was normal,
While mourning the freedom that had died.
Everyone told me my hips would grow,
I looked at them and couldn't stop crying,
'What's wrong with you? You'll be a woman!'
They kept celebrating a child dying.
See my body had betrayed me,
That red dot, the wax seal,
On a contract left there broken,
A gender identity that wasn't real.
Most people deal with blood and tissue,
And yet my body forces me to surrender,
Cause every time I get my cycle,
Is another day I shed my gender.
My boobs betray me first,
I feel them stretching out my binder,
I send up questions, 'am I cursed?'
And wish to god that she was kinder.
The five days it flows,
I try to breathe, I dissociate,
While my body rips outs parts of me,
Leaving nothing but a shell of hate.
The blood drips from an open wound,
Of a war waging deep inside my corpse,
The battle between mind and body,
Immovable object; unstoppable force.
Clemmer describes themself as an activist in menstrual health and has created a character called Toni the Tampon, with the aim of helping to break down the stigma around periods, as bleeding can make some people experience 'gender dysphoria' - a feeling of inner conflict over gender.
"I hope Toni the Tampon will serve as a fun and humorous jumping-off point to help us talk about periods free of stigma and taboo, while also recognising the diversity within the community of those who menstruate," Clemmer told the Independent.
"I dream of a day when we are able to talk about our periods without being worried about who is overhearing us or feeling like we're discussing something dirty."
Featured Image Credit: Instagram
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