A transgender male model has been announced as the face of a new campaign aiming to challenge the stigma around periods.
Kenny Jones, 23, appears alongside activists, fashion designers and writers in the ‘I’M ON’ campaign launched by period subscription service Pink Parcel.
Jones, who was christened Kelsey, has spoken out about how he suffered with his periods when transitioning at a young age - he was 14 when he came out as trans and 16 when he shaved his head and changed his name.
Before he started taking hormone blockers at the age of 17, the north west London-based model still had periods every month.
“During my transition I did have to deal with experiencing periods each month and many of the negative stereotypes that can come along with it,” Jones said. “Assuming periods are inhibiting to people tends to perpetuate period shame even more, and makes people even more reluctant to talk about them.
“I always found the fact that no one seemed to openly talk about periods quite difficult and made me want to hide mine even more. That’s why I wanted to be involved in the I’M ON campaign.
“We need to encourage everyone to talk about periods, whether they experience them directly or not. Sparking conversation is the first step to normalising periods within society.”
He also says he believes trans men should feel more comfortable discussing periods with one another.
Jones attended an all-girls school, where he refused to wear a skirt. He was sent to see a psychiatrist at the age of 11, but says he never understood what gender was as a child.
As a teenager, Jones dropped out of school in year nine and went to college with older teens, where he says people were more open and understanding.
At the age of 20, Jones started growing facial hair which helped him finally feel comfortable with his body.
He now joins high profile women in Pink Parcel’s campaign, including British fashion designer Olivia Rubin, style influencer and activist Natalie Lee, and journalists and podcast hosts Pandora Sykes and Dolly Alderton.
The line-up model a range of slogan T-shirts designed to change the belief that periods are inhibiting and shouldn’t be discussed.
Research by the brand has found that just eight per cent of period related online content depicts the experience of the trans community, with 92 per cent viewing periods from a binary perspective only.
A poll of 2,000 British adults also found a third (34 per cent) of Brits still see periods as a taboo subject and a quarter have experienced feelings of shame or embarrassment while on their period.
What’s more, 50 per cent of Brits have never spoken to their partner about periods, with 44 per cent avoiding the subject with friends.
£5 from the sale of each T-shirt will go to Bloody Good Period, a charity which donates menstrual products to asylum seekers and refugees in a bid to tackle period poverty.
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