International Transgender Day of Visibility 2024 | Inclusivity in Menstrual Health

International Transgender Day of Visibility 2024 | Inclusivity in Menstrual Health

Hello my loves! 🏳️‍⚧️ 🤍 🏳️‍⚧️ 

intheflow has drawn so much inspiration to develop this social enterprise as a gender inclusive, sustainable period brand, from the lack of representation of anyone that does not identify as cisgender. I wanted to mark International Transgender Day of Visibility by sharing some examples of why it is so important to use inclusive language. We know that language changes over time. Since launching our brand, we have become increasingly aware of the how exclusionary some common terms are, that many may not have previously ever given much thought! So when it comes to something as universally stigmatised as menstruation, we need to dig deep and understand why that might be. 

At intheflow, we are all about body autonomy, self-love and period positivity. Our goal is to help people foster a healthier relationship with themselves and their bodies, beyond our products, how ever that looks or feels to them, for them to literally feel intheflow. We do this by providing premium, plastic free, sustainable period care, through education, and in making period products more accessible and affordable to those that need them through donations and fundraising efforts.

Inclusivity in Menstrual Health | Let's break it down

We can’t assume that all cisgender women have periods. They might not, for many individual and personal reasons but as an example, we know that some ‘contraceptive pills’ reduce or stop periods. Menstrual suppressants (as they are also known), may not be taken for contraceptive purposes at all (e.g. same sex relationships) and more as a way to manage particularly painful or disruptive periods. In which case, as much as it is a contraceptive pill, it serves another purpose which feels more appropriate for whoever is taking them for that reason. Another example for menstrual suppressants, is for trans people who may too take them for pain management, but they may also experience a great deal of gender dysphoria around menstruation and take them for that reason alone, or both!


The whole point of inclusion is to recognise individual experiences. Some Transgender and non-binary folks have periods, just as some but not all cisgender women, and in sharing these experiences and examples, we're making sure everyone feels seen and heard, as it then makes period care and menstrual health services (like smear tests, which are very important) far more accessible, for all



Here are some examples of how we are championing gender-inclusive language. 

Instead of saying 

Women’s health, we are being more specific and saying Menstrual Health.

Don't come at me, terfs. We are not in any way erasing women or women's health.

Instead of saying Feminine Hygiene products, we are saying period products, or period care. And instead of calling them sanitary towels, we’re calling them pads

Language changes over time 🕰️ We are celebrating this as progress, peeps! 🫶🏽

A couple of things here. It’s not just gender-inclusive language we are championing, we’re also acknowledging that ‘hygiene’ and ‘sanitary’ have the connotations that periods are unhygienic. Suggesting this, only feeds into period shame and stigma, which leaves people feeling embarrassed and with low-self esteem during their time of the month. We’re trying to encourage people to improve the relationship they have with their periods by sharing examples of how branding, marketing and beauty standards have done us all dirty this whole time!

People should use language that they feel most comfortable with. I deliberately referenced ‘time of the month’, to represent many that perhaps, unconsciously avoid calling it what it is. It’s a period. It’s not a dirty word. It’s a very natural thing that happens to half the population, and yet we still struggle to talk about it. 

We don't want to feel embarrassed to talk about periods any more.

We’re not just imagining a world where nobody felt period stigma and shame. We’re creating it. By sharing a diverse mix of our experiences and stories, we're creating a space where everyone's experiences are valued, respected, normalised and de-stigmatized! 

You can hear more about my own experience, and founder journey here.


Gender equality for ALL

Here's the thing, being an intersectional feminist and advocating for menstrual equity means advocating for transgender rights, too. We all need to push for policies and practices that respect and support all people that menstruate. And with that, alongside our donations in an attempt to tackle period poverty, intheflow have launched a Period Positive Employer Campaign which you can read more about here. 

My all-time hero, Dr Maya Angelou once said, ‘Once you know better, do better”. Dr Angelou was BIG on, loving and accepting everyone. As a poet, and human rights activist, she was also big on language. We still have a lot of work to do, but together, now we know how essential inclusive language is. Using it, helps us to remove gender-based barriers in health, education, the workplace and society as a whole.


Premium, plastic free, sustainable, inclusive period care.

intheflow is for everyone. Our products may not be for everyone right now (hold tight), but our mission and our purpose is. Our menstrual cups are great for those that use tampons, but for those that are less inclined to use them, it’s okay, we see you! 👀 Please give us some time, we understand that period care is a personal preference and we are building our range to offer other sustainable alternatives that feel comfy for you to feel empowered and intheflow. As a self-funded social enterprise, there is so much to learn, but it’s important to us that you know, no matter how you identify, you’re always welcome here. We're building our network and teaming up with amazing organisations to make sure everyone has access to the resources and products they need. Stick around, we’d love to share this journey with and for you. 🏳️‍⚧️ 🤍 🏳️‍⚧️ 

International Transgender Day of Visibility 2024

Like all important things, awareness just isn't enough, we need to take action. Our commitment is to take up space, and use our voices for policy changes, support minority and low-income communities, carefully selected organisations, champion inclusion, and challenge transphobia in any-form. Intheflow would love for members of the trans community who would like to share their story about their menstrual health with us, to reach out for a guest blog post, podcast or coffee from our office in Brighton. 

Ending with another Dr Maya Angelou quote, “we are more alike, my friend, than we are unalike”. 

Let's keep empowering others to be and feel completely intheflow with who they are. 

Happy Flowing!

With love, from our hometown, Brighton. 

Em Anastasi she/they

intheflow | For you, the planet, and others. 
Founder | Gender Equality & Period Poverty Activist 


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