Despite recent cultural strides in dismantling the gender binary, trans and nonbinary people still face prejudice every day. One such longstanding belief, which has blocked many stereotypes from being dismantled, is that only women can get their period.
This is also why most menstrual brands exclusively advertise to women, including the category giant Always, whose signature venus symbol on the packaging represents the female sex. But after years of campaigning by activists pushing to make the category more inclusive of trans, nonbinary and intersex people, Always is now listening.
"For over 35 years Always has championed girls and women, and we will continue to do so," Procter & Gamble, the brand's parent company, said in a statement. "We're also committed to diversity & inclusion and are on a continual journey to understand the needs of all of our consumers"
Although social media and an increasingly politically charged climate has opened up conversations around gender, trans, intersex, and nonbinary people are still constantly misgendered, harassed and ridiculed, invalidating their self-worth and life experiences.
A move like this might seem like a surface-level, victory, but it also serves as an example for other smaller brands to follow suit and further denotes that corporations are finally taking the long marginalized community's needs seriously.
"For folks using these products on a nearly monthly basis, it can be harmful and distressing to see binary/gendered images, coding, language and symbols," Steph deNormand, the Trans Health Program manager at Fenway Health told NBC News. So, using less coded products can make a huge difference. Trans and nonbinary folks are constantly misgendered, and a gesture like this can broaden out the experiences and open up spaces for those who need the products."
Always will work to revamp all of its packaging in December bring the change into effect by February 2020.