Not everyone who menstruates identifies as female and so at Selene & Gaia, we make sure everyone feels welcomed and supported. I spoke to Tyler Phillips, a transgender man who has been amazing at shedding some light on what it’s like to be transgender and still have to experience the menstrual cycle. We should all recognise, learn about and respect everyone’s different experiences.
Q1. How do you feel when it is your time of the month?
As a trans man on HRT my periods were important to me but not in the way you may think. Being on testosterone can stop periods for transgender men and trans masculine people but not always and not at the same time. Everyone is different.
For me getting my period was so hard and difficult, it caused me a-lot of anxiety and stress in the build-up. It made me feel less of a man and more like a woman.
Q2. How do you feel when you go to buy period products?
Buying period products was so very stressful. I always felt anxious and nervous thinking that everyone knew I was a trans man who got a period each month. This is obviously not the case but still it wasn’t pleasant having to go to the shop each month.
Q3. What are the effects of HRT on the menstrual cycle?
The effects of HRT and periods or cycles is that they can stop and for most people they will stop after about three months. If this doesn’t happen, you can be prescribed a blocker which would help.
When your cycle does stop it doesn’t necessarily mean that’s the end of tummy cramps , bloating and emotions. After my cycle stopped my body still had a way of telling me when my cycle would be happening. I still from time-to-time experience tummy cramps and mood swings.
Q4. Would you say that it’s society or menstruation that contributes to causing gender dysphoria/ uncomfortableness?
I think society plays a part in how we feel when getting a cycle. You never see anyone advertising a trans man talking about periods it’s only ever females and young females at that. I think if we talked more about the fact that periods happen to more than just cis gendered women it would help.
In general, talking about this subject just takes away the sigma.
Q5. What would you like changed/achieved in the period product sector? What are you looking for from a platform?
One thing I would like to see in the future is men’s rest rooms and bathrooms having products and information about services displayed, disposal bins for example in men’s bathrooms would be nice.
Q6. Anything I could sell or do at Selene & Gaia that would help?
I think offering a subscription service for people is an amazing thing it takes away the stress of having to go into a shop to buy products. I think engaging with the LGBT+ community more to show that the service is there for them. This would help build that trust and confidence. Maybe pop up stands at pride events , live Instagram and tik Toks with myself or other trans macs people to talk about cycles and how they can access your products.
Q7. Do you know anyone who is a trans woman- the issues they have gone through with hormones?
I don’t personally know any trans women so can’t really speak on behalf of their journey with hormones.
Q8. You said you are often asked questions about the time of the month- are there any specifically that stand out/ come up a lot?
I get a lot of questions from parents asking how to help their young trans chid with that time of the month. You need to be 18 to access testosterone so many young trans man or trans macs people will have to go through a cycle each month and this can be very stressful. It would be great to have a service that they can access to help with this. I always advise them to use that time best they can. Make it a time to practice self-care, have a sofa day with treats if needs be. Just try and make that time more about you and your body and not about a period.
If you have any queries or questions in regards to this blog, please feel free to get in contact with either myself or with Tyler. You can find Tyler on Instagram @tyler_redican_
I also want this brand to be able to help everyone the best I can, so if you have any notes on how Selene & Gaia can further help and support you, please get in contact with me.