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This Is What It's Like To Get A Period When You Aren't A Woman

"You can be a guy with a vagina that bleeds for a week every month. There's nothing wrong with you. You are beautiful."

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We asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us about their periods, and we heard from a lot of trans and nonbinary people who want you to know they menstruate too.

Here's what they had to share about what it's like to bleed when you're not a woman.
@50shadesofgreentoronto / Via instagram.com

Here's what they had to share about what it's like to bleed when you're not a woman.

1. "But you're a guy...guys don't get periods?"

Whenever my period comes, all my friends will hear about it. I always complain to my mother and sister, too, but that's the extent of talking about it with family for me.I am transgender (FTM) so it can be difficult to have a period in general, but from personal experience, I haven't had any social struggles with it. Maybe the occasional, "But you're a guy...guys don't get periods?" Not all men get them; some of us do, so just deal with it.—Evan, 14, Australia
@zoeforget / Via instagram.com

Whenever my period comes, all my friends will hear about it. I always complain to my mother and sister, too, but that's the extent of talking about it with family for me.

I am transgender (FTM) so it can be difficult to have a period in general, but from personal experience, I haven't had any social struggles with it. Maybe the occasional, "But you're a guy...guys don't get periods?" Not all men get them; some of us do, so just deal with it.

—Evan, 14, Australia

2. "Any gender can bleed."

With female friends that I am out to it’s fair talk, as with my partner.As a trans guy it’s hard. Scientifically I know until testosterone injections kick in, it’s gonna happen, but I still can't help but pray that this month is the last. Not because my periods are painful, long, or heavy, but because tampon ad slogans are relevant to cis women. Any gender can bleed. —Anonymous, 18, New Zealand
@greenpagesinfo / Via instagram.com

With female friends that I am out to it’s fair talk, as with my partner.

As a trans guy it’s hard. Scientifically I know until testosterone injections kick in, it’s gonna happen, but I still can't help but pray that this month is the last. Not because my periods are painful, long, or heavy, but because tampon ad slogans are relevant to cis women. Any gender can bleed.

—Anonymous, 18, New Zealand

3. "I was a baby trans guy and it made me hate my body."

My first period was traumatic because I lived with just my dad who had no idea what to do, and also because I was a baby trans guy and it made me hate my body.I wear a pad in a pair of old woman's underpants underneath my boxer briefs.I can't talk about my period because of the cis-sexist idea that only women get them, which ignores trans and nonbinary people. But I do freely talk about it with my fiancé and my close friends.As a transgender person who has a vagina, I wish I could talk more freely about my periods and to not have it dictate how I can present my gender.—Quinn, 22, Australia
@period_positive / Via instagram.com

My first period was traumatic because I lived with just my dad who had no idea what to do, and also because I was a baby trans guy and it made me hate my body.

I wear a pad in a pair of old woman's underpants underneath my boxer briefs.

I can't talk about my period because of the cis-sexist idea that only women get them, which ignores trans and nonbinary people. But I do freely talk about it with my fiancé and my close friends.

As a transgender person who has a vagina, I wish I could talk more freely about my periods and to not have it dictate how I can present my gender.

—Quinn, 22, Australia

4. "As a trans guy I use the term 'penguin' for my period to avoid dysphoria."

I don’t talk about my period with my family, co-workers, and friends at all. With my partner, I’m more open. I'll complain about cramps or warn him that I'm on it so he knows not to initiate sex.As a trans guy I use the term “penguin” for my period to avoid dysphoria, or "I’m bleeding," which is another trans thing.—Aiden, 18, US
Photoplotnikov / Getty Images

I don’t talk about my period with my family, co-workers, and friends at all. With my partner, I’m more open. I'll complain about cramps or warn him that I'm on it so he knows not to initiate sex.

As a trans guy I use the term “penguin” for my period to avoid dysphoria, or "I’m bleeding," which is another trans thing.

—Aiden, 18, US

5. "Torn-up socks, toilet paper, fast-food napkins — whatever you can get your hands on when you're low on cash works."

My mom told me when I was in third grade, "Hey, girls bleed out of their hoo-has when they grow older and it's called a period. You stick a pad over it like a little Band-Aid until it clears up in about a week, but you probably won't start it for a while yet."I remember the fear and the shame that I was a guy with a period (I'm transgender). I was scared shitless — or should I say bloodless — at the thought of wearing menstrual products and the cramps I might have to deal with. I can't bring myself to talk about it to anyone at all because I'm then perceived as a cisgender female instead of the transgender man I am. I get enough backlash from just about everyone I know for being myself as it is, and I don't need to be even more dysphoric just because I can't afford hormones quite yet.I spend way too damn much on menstrual products. It's insane. Being practically homeless doesn't leave you with many options. Torn-up socks, toilet paper, fast-food napkins — whatever you can get your hands on when you're low on cash works.—Blue, US
@happypeachbuttmcgee / Via instagram.com

My mom told me when I was in third grade, "Hey, girls bleed out of their hoo-has when they grow older and it's called a period. You stick a pad over it like a little Band-Aid until it clears up in about a week, but you probably won't start it for a while yet."

I remember the fear and the shame that I was a guy with a period (I'm transgender). I was scared shitless — or should I say bloodless — at the thought of wearing menstrual products and the cramps I might have to deal with.

I can't bring myself to talk about it to anyone at all because I'm then perceived as a cisgender female instead of the transgender man I am. I get enough backlash from just about everyone I know for being myself as it is, and I don't need to be even more dysphoric just because I can't afford hormones quite yet.

I spend way too damn much on menstrual products. It's insane. Being practically homeless doesn't leave you with many options. Torn-up socks, toilet paper, fast-food napkins — whatever you can get your hands on when you're low on cash works.

—Blue, US

6. "It's hard to cover masculine underwear, so I have to use at least three pads at any given time."

I use pads. Cups are way too expensive, and I'm too scared of TSS to use tampons. I spend about £10 a month. I have a stupidly heavy flow, and it's hard to cover masculine underwear, so I have to use at least three pads at any given time. —Frank, 17, UK
@thatcutequeer / Via instagram.com

I use pads. Cups are way too expensive, and I'm too scared of TSS to use tampons. I spend about £10 a month. I have a stupidly heavy flow, and it's hard to cover masculine underwear, so I have to use at least three pads at any given time.

—Frank, 17, UK

7. "My periods are stopping since I've started taking testosterone."

I use pads and I’ve used tampons a few times, but my periods are stopping since I've started taking testosterone.I'm so open about my period because my parents raised me to talk about it like anything else, and sometimes it weirds out people a bit too much.I guess in most cultures (if not all), periods are very associated with femininity, so as a trans male, being so open about my period can be very confusing for some people. People will be very respectful (most of the time) about me identifying as a boy and treat me like one, but as soon as I talk about menstruation it’s as if I’m back to being a girl. #boysbleedtoo—Axel, 16, Canada
Esben_H / Getty Images

I use pads and I’ve used tampons a few times, but my periods are stopping since I've started taking testosterone.

I'm so open about my period because my parents raised me to talk about it like anything else, and sometimes it weirds out people a bit too much.

I guess in most cultures (if not all), periods are very associated with femininity, so as a trans male, being so open about my period can be very confusing for some people. People will be very respectful (most of the time) about me identifying as a boy and treat me like one, but as soon as I talk about menstruation it’s as if I’m back to being a girl. #boysbleedtoo

—Axel, 16, Canada

8. "Menstrual cups are most convenient to use in men's bathrooms but can be difficult for other reasons (e.g., dysphoria)."

I’ve used pads, tampons, and menstrual cups. I'm a trans man, so a menstrual cup is most convenient to use in men's bathrooms but can be difficult for other reasons (e.g., dysphoria). I talk about my period openly with other people who have periods and with queer men generally. It's assumed to be a women-only thing. It’s not. Some men have periods. If you're a man and you can't deal with it, get over it and do your own emotional labour. It's a natural biological process and nothing to be ashamed of. —Anonymous, UK
@cleanyourcup / Via instagram.com

I’ve used pads, tampons, and menstrual cups. I'm a trans man, so a menstrual cup is most convenient to use in men's bathrooms but can be difficult for other reasons (e.g., dysphoria).

I talk about my period openly with other people who have periods and with queer men generally.

It's assumed to be a women-only thing. It’s not. Some men have periods. If you're a man and you can't deal with it, get over it and do your own emotional labour. It's a natural biological process and nothing to be ashamed of.

—Anonymous, UK

9. "I felt disappointed and betrayed by my body, as I didn't want to become a woman at all."

I'm a nonbinary trans person. I remember feeling an unfamiliar pain one day, and then finding some blood in my underwear the next morning. Even though I understood what was happening, I felt disappointed and betrayed by my body, as I didn't want to become a woman at all. I think I was more freaked out by that than by the blood and pain.It's not very normal or accepted to do so, but I talk about periods as a form of activism. Even though Norway is a modern society with pretty good information about periods and other bodily functions, and mostly good availability of hygiene products, there is still shame and taboos surrounding them. —Anonymous, 21, Norway
@babyfacepress / Via instagram.com

I'm a nonbinary trans person.

I remember feeling an unfamiliar pain one day, and then finding some blood in my underwear the next morning. Even though I understood what was happening, I felt disappointed and betrayed by my body, as I didn't want to become a woman at all. I think I was more freaked out by that than by the blood and pain.

It's not very normal or accepted to do so, but I talk about periods as a form of activism. Even though Norway is a modern society with pretty good information about periods and other bodily functions, and mostly good availability of hygiene products, there is still shame and taboos surrounding them.

—Anonymous, 21, Norway

10. "As a trans guy it makes everything a bit more difficult —especially regarding college nurses or missing college due to pain."

I'm pretty open with my family and have been with a few exes. I live in a pretty rural area of England, where everyone is generally ignorant. As a trans guy, I find it makes everything a bit more difficult — especially regarding college nurses or missing college due to pain. —Anonymous, 17, England
@period_memes / Via instagram.com

I'm pretty open with my family and have been with a few exes. I live in a pretty rural area of England, where everyone is generally ignorant. As a trans guy, I find it makes everything a bit more difficult — especially regarding college nurses or missing college due to pain.

—Anonymous, 17, England

11. "It's awful — especially when you're FTM with cramps that put you in the hospital."

I’m pretty open about my period with those incredibly close to me. Not at all to anyone outside that circle though. Trans men don’t get the luxury to complain in this society.It’s awful — especially when you’re FTM with cramps that put you in the hospital. Everyone who doesn’t suffer to that degree treats you like a joke, like your disabling cramps are an exaggeration or a lie. —Anonymous, US
@according_to_sage / Via instagram.com

I’m pretty open about my period with those incredibly close to me. Not at all to anyone outside that circle though. Trans men don’t get the luxury to complain in this society.

It’s awful — especially when you’re FTM with cramps that put you in the hospital. Everyone who doesn’t suffer to that degree treats you like a joke, like your disabling cramps are an exaggeration or a lie.

—Anonymous, US

12. "I know there are very few trans men in the world, but we do exist and our experiences are valid."

My mum used to say Aunty Mavis was visiting. I genuinely thought I had an Aunty Mavis for a while when I was a kid. I remember being embarrassed having to tell my parents when I started my period, and I just didn't want to have to talk about it. My dad congratulated me, which made me cringe. Obviously trans guys are generally pretty uncomfortable with periods, and we don't tend to talk about it too much. I don’t talk about it very often at all, only with my girlfriend. As a man who has periods it's frustrating that they are treated as something that are categorically exclusively experienced by women. I know there are very few trans men in the world, but we do exist and our experiences are valid. —Nicholas, 29, UK
@sophiegreens / Via instagram.com

My mum used to say Aunty Mavis was visiting. I genuinely thought I had an Aunty Mavis for a while when I was a kid.

I remember being embarrassed having to tell my parents when I started my period, and I just didn't want to have to talk about it. My dad congratulated me, which made me cringe.

Obviously trans guys are generally pretty uncomfortable with periods, and we don't tend to talk about it too much. I don’t talk about it very often at all, only with my girlfriend.

As a man who has periods it's frustrating that they are treated as something that are categorically exclusively experienced by women. I know there are very few trans men in the world, but we do exist and our experiences are valid.

—Nicholas, 29, UK

13. "You can be a guy with a vagina that bleeds for a week every month. There's nothing wrong with you. You are beautiful."

I was so embarrassed when I got my first period. I spent days using toilet paper instead of pads because I was too scared to ask for them.I’m a transgender guy (female to male), so I do my best not to talk about my period with anyone. Of course, it comes up in conversation with friends and my mom, but I get very flustered and embarrassed.I was always taught that having a period is feminine and ugly, but it's not. You can be a guy with a vagina that bleeds for a week every month. There's nothing wrong with you. You are beautiful.—Hayden, 16, US
@trans_pride__ / Via instagram.com

I was so embarrassed when I got my first period. I spent days using toilet paper instead of pads because I was too scared to ask for them.

I’m a transgender guy (female to male), so I do my best not to talk about my period with anyone. Of course, it comes up in conversation with friends and my mom, but I get very flustered and embarrassed.

I was always taught that having a period is feminine and ugly, but it's not. You can be a guy with a vagina that bleeds for a week every month. There's nothing wrong with you. You are beautiful.

—Hayden, 16, US

Submissions have been edited for length and clarity.