Transgender Artist Bleeds On Bench To Show Men Have Periods Too
A transgender, non-binary artist has made a bold statement by posting a photo of themself free-bleeding on a park bench.
Making the point that ‘periods are not just for women’, Cass Clemmer, prefers to be referred to using they/them pronouns so as not to limit themself to one gender.
Speaking to UNILAD, Cass said that ‘Trans and non binary folks who don’t identify as women get their periods too’, meaning that ‘Trans men with uteruses that have the capacity to menstruate’ also have periods.
Accompanying the photo was a poem, which reads:
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,
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.
It is widely argued that the issues of gender and sex causes numerous grey areas concerning what is classed as a female or male problem.
Cass brought up the issue of gender dysphoria which causes them to question their gender every time their period comes.
Speaking to the Metro, Cass said:
I end up going exclusively into women’s restrooms because it’s honestly safer during the days I’m bleeding.
Getting your period while not identifying as a woman can feel like a monthly battle both with your own body and with a world that continuously tells you that your identity isn’t real.
Cass describes themself as an activist in the menstrual health space and created the social media character of Toni the Tampon with the aim of breaking down stigma around periods for different genders.
The artist and activist wants to create more gender inclusive spaces within the menstruation movement.