What it means to be transmasc, and why inclusive period care matters
Whether you’re exploring your own gender identity, have trans friends or want to know how to be a better ally, learning about gender identity is always a good thing.
‘Transmasculine’ is a broad term for anyone assigned female at birth (AFAB) who identifies as masculine. And today we’re answering questions about folks who identify as transmasc.
As one possible part of the transmasc experience, we’ll also get the lowdown on period care. And we’ll follow that up by speaking with one of our brilliant Modibodi Ambassadors about how you can show support.
What does transmasc mean?
Before diving into the transmasc meaning, we need a quick refresher on the difference between sex and gender. People often confuse these terms, especially in discussions around transgender people, without realising they mean different things.
Sex is the classification someone was given at birth, like male, female or intersex, and it’s based solely on the genitals someone was born with.
Gender, on the other hand, is an internal experience. It’s whether someone’s personal experience relates to being a man, woman, nonbinary or other. And there’s no exact age or way for someone to start exploring their gender identity.
A transmasc individual is someone AFAB who identifies as masculine. It can also refer to non-binary or gender-fluid people who identify with masculinity.
Sometimes, gender dysphoria occurs when there’s a mismatch between someone’s gender identity and sex. Periods, for example, can cause distress and anxiety for a transmasc person due to their incorrect perception that it’s a traditionally feminine experience. So, inclusive period care is a must.
Periods and transmasc people
One of the biggest questions about transmasc people is how periods are managed. Can men menstruate? Is there such a thing as periods in men? And what impact can a period have on a transmasc person? The truth is, menstruation is simply a bodily function and not tied to gender at all.
Not all women can menstruate. And not all people who do menstruate identify as a woman or a girl. Understanding this is the first step to a broader understanding of what periods really are.
For transmasc people, there are many challenges when it comes to periods. Being able to access sanitary bins in public toilets, shop for period products, deal with menstrual blood and face gender dysphoria are just a few. Modibodi’s all gender undies help with each of these things as a discreet, reusable and comfortable alternative.
Oscar McGregor is a model, transactivist and one of Modibodi’s Ambassadors. He reminds us why tying gender to things like periods, behaviours and appearances is outdated.
“I think we really need to break the stigma that only women get their periods because you have no idea who does,” he says. “Everyone can get their period. You have no idea who can and can’t just by taking someone at face value.”
How you can support the transmasc community
Want to be a supportive ally and friend to the trans community and people in your life? These are just a handful of the ways you can start.
- Respect the individual. Take the time to learn about the individual, their gender identity and expression and pronouns. Use gender-affirming language and be inclusive in how you speak about people.
- Show your support. Use your voice to support transgender people and transgender rights. It matters even on a smaller scale, like in a group of friends or family.
- Never stop learning. The onus of educating people does not fall on the transgender community. However, you can be an ally by educating yourself and sharing this knowledge with others.
- Be an ally. Oscar offers some valuable insights into how to be an ally to trans men. “It’s someone that doesn’t question the feminine things they do or why they need certain products,” he says. “If you’re in the shopping aisle with your trans man friend and he’s looking at some period products, maybe just pick some up for him.”
These small actions can have a significant impact, and they’re the best way to work towards creating a safer and more accepting world for everyone.
Period care for every person
Navigating your period as a trans man is just one possible part of your experience, but it’s one that we can help with.
Changing a pad or tampon, or even navigating the period care aisle at the supermarket, can cause uncomfortable feelings of dysphoria. We want everyone to feel comfortable in their body, that’s why we made our All Gender collection. Our period undies, boyshorts and shorts offer a discreet, reusable and inclusive way for everyone to deal with menstruation, so check out the range today.