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If there was ever a time to ask “how” in your Kanye voice, now would be it. There are many things about trans identity that society is working – and struggling – to understand, but there are also some things that are biologically impossible and we’re pretty sure someone who was physiologically born a man menstruating is one of them. Yet that didn’t stop Dana Beyer, a trans woman and Executive Director of Gender Rights Maryland, from claiming to have had one.

In a piece on the Huffington Post asking, “What Makes a Woman?” Beyer responded to a Sunday New York Times’ piece of the same name that expressed the sentiment that trans women and women born female are not the same. Burkett wrote, plainly:

“Their truth is not my truth. Their female identities are not my female identity. They haven’t traveled through the world as women and been shaped by all that this entails. They haven’t suffered through business meetings with men talking to their breasts or woken up after sex terrified they’d forgotten to take their birth control pills the day before. They haven’t had to cope with the onset of their periods in the middle of a crowded subway…”

Unless, of course, you’re Beyer who retorted on HuffPo:

“My truth is not yours, nor my female identity yours, either. But I have my truth and my female identity, and all I ask is that you respect mine as I respect yours. I have travelled through the world as a woman and been shaped by it, just not for as long as you. I’ve suffered through such business meetings as you have, even more aware of the dismissiveness of men because once upon a time I was visible to them. I coped with the onset of my period in a manner that would horrify you, but you’ve already made the inference that I never had a period and that’s a basic mistake. I’m a lot physically weaker than I used to be, and it’s true I never had to worry about getting pregnant, just getting someone pregnant.”

While it’s frowned upon to imply that you’re only a “real” woman if you menstruate. It’s also not cool to equate anything short of menstruation with a period. Even with gender reassignment surgery, trans women do not have ovaries or uteri so having a period – as most biological women understand and experience it – is impossible. What is possible is that if trans women continue hormone therapy, they may experience mood swings and side effects similar to periods – without the bleeding of course – that might cause someone like Beyer to imply they have actually had a period. Still, one of those things is not like the other and, in reality, they don’t need to be.

In this day and age it’s come to be expected, and slowly accepted, that everyone has their own truths. But truth and fact are two separate things. So while it may be true that some trans women feel like they have their period. Science tells us that at this moment in time that’s factually impossible. And that’s okay. There’s no need to try to out-woman other women for the sake of acceptance, particularly when going about it in such a false manner is likely to evoke more disbelief and suspicion of the trans-female experience than sympathy and understanding. And if we’re being honest here, most women would likely give up this little monthly “gift” anyway so trans women be glad you don’t actually have to menstruate.

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  • Mary Burrell

    Umm…… No.

  • GeekMommaRants

    Not possible without a uterus. This is human biology. What an idiot.

  • I normally don’t comment on here but after reading through this comment section I felt compelled to comment just for all the black sisters (both cis and trans) that may be reading these comments, but especially for our young trans black sisters out there who may be reading this.

    First of all to whomever is reading this, you are beautiful! Don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise and it saddens my heart to read some of the vitriol posted here by women who just by being black and being women in this society know what it feels like to be cast as “Other”.

    I completely understand the commenters who are simply stating that you do not understand/agree. You have a right to your personal beliefs and feelings.

    But for the ones casting statements of demonic possession and such out there, understand this; You may not like it, and you may not agree with it but they are still human beings. And there are more than likely people who are reading these comments that identify as transgendered that have real human feelings too. Just because you do not like or agree with a community of people does not mean that you automatically get to relegate that community to some sub-human/sub-species denomination.

    Think back to the hundreds of years of history of white society relegating us to the status of not fully human, even part monkey in some regards. And they believed they were fully justified in labeling us as such. In taking up the hateful rhetoric of our oppressors, you are acting no better than them.

    Also, I’m tired of the black community pulling the wool over their eyes and viewing the transgender movement as a “white-people problem”. First of all, it’s not a problem. Second of all, it’s not just white people who self-identify anywhere on the queer spectrum. Black people identify as transgender, lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, pan-sexual, asexual, queer, etc. too.

    The problem is that we all can’t stop looking for reasons to hate one another long enough to realize that it doesn’t matter what’s in someone’s underwear, the way they wear their clothes, or what they choose to do in their personal time. We are all here in this world together and need to learn to love all of our similarities and differences. It’s not that hard, just choose to let go of the hate and continue on with your lives.

    So to any young black trans girls that may be reading this. You are not alone. You are beautiful. And you have a bright future in front.

    • Ann Gomez

      How about we tell people to get help and not chop up their bodies. It’s funny how the media accepts this but when it comes to body morphic disorder it’s a different story.

    • I’m sorry if I’m missing something or not completely understanding your comment but I’m a bit confused. Body dysmorphic disorder is a mental illness while being transgender is an identity. How would the treatment for the two be the same? It’s like saying we should cure someone of their blackness with the same cure that we used for polio.
      Beyond that, part of the transition period (at least from the perspective of my friends who have gone through this process) includes a fair bit of counseling and working with a psychologist. It is not an overnight process. It takes months even years of work to make the transition.

    • Ann Gomez

      Both disorder are delusions, each person thinks there something worng with them and seek medical treatment to fix it. Both individuals need outside encouraging to perpetuate their delusions so please tell me why one more acceptable.

    • Ann Gomez

      But your also forgeting the main point transitions don’t help most people and most of these individuals comit sucide are have the surgery reverse.

    • I had to take a couple days to respond because I was truly flabbergasted by your response and had to look up where you were getting your facts from. (Spoiler alert, I couldn’t find a credible source that corroborates your facts). Most transitioning people end up committing suicide or getting surgery reversal-what!?!
      Miss Ann Gomez I am going to have to respectfully agree to disagree with you here because I have not a clue where you pulled that fact from.

      And I’m not even going to touch on your “delusions” comment down there because the purpose of my original comment wasn’t to pick a fight. It was just to remind us all to be a little nicer with our words (and to stop dehumanizing a community of people) and to also be a friendly word in a sea of hateful comments. I’m not trying to change your opinion on the trans-community through the comment section of an online blog. You are fully entitled to your opinion. As am I. I’m just asking that we all be a little bit more respectful with our words and realize that you never know who may be reading this.