Menstruation is a natural process but still, people find it a taboo and don’t talk about it in public. A transgender artist and menstrual health activist from Washington D.C. became the talk of social media town after sharing an image which shows themselves 'free bleeding' in public.
Cass Clemmer, a non-binary artist who does not conform to a specific gender, and prefers to use they/them pronouns, caused quite a stir online after sharing the image which shows Cass sitting on a park bench, having bled through their khaki pants and posing with a sign that reads: 'Periods are not just for women.' They then added the hashtag #BleedingWhileTrans.
With the help of this powerful picture, Cass tried to provoke awareness for trans men's periods.
Cass also included a poem that they read at a spoken word event which took place during a menstrual health conference last summer.
Cass also runs an Instagram account by the name ‘Toni the Tampon’ - featuring a travelling tampon that raises awareness and also answers questions about menstruation.
Cass is very open about menstruating and also about the struggles involved, both in terms of dealing with a period in general and how menstruation is a curse for someone who is not a woman.
While talking to HuffPost, Cass told, “I remember sharing for the first time with a friend of mine that I wasn’t able to wear my binder that day because I was on my period and my boobs had swelled up so much that it made it hard to breathe,”.
“We had been friends for awhile and she’s a feminist activist, but when I realized that not even she had considered what it was like for people like me to experience bleeding on an (ir)regular basis I knew that I had to go public with my story to help shift the mindset around trying periods to womanhood and femininity. Not all people who menstruate are women, and not all women menstruate,” Cass added.
Cass now works to spread awareness about periods as not just something that affects women specifically, and what it means to menstruate as a transgender or a non-binary person.
They also published a 20-page colouring book late last year, which featured a character that Cass created - Toni the Tampon - a googly-eyed feminine hygiene product who comes complete with their own fun-filled Instagram account.
Cass created Toni the Tampon on social media with the aim of breaking down stigmas around periods for different genders.
Cass wants to create more gender inclusive spaces within the menstruation movement.
Title Image: Instagram