Cover image credited to Pink Parcel
23-year-old Kenny Jones has been picked to front a campaign that aims to tackle the stigma women experience regarding menstruation and their periods. Kenny, a male model from London, came out at the age of 14 and began transitioning at 17, but continued to experience periods until he began taking hormone blockers. Kenny, who was born Kelsey, has not had a period since he began hormone treatment.
Now, however, he will front the I’M ON campaign that aims to address society’s culture of ‘shame’ when it comes to menstruation. Speaking to the Daily Mail Kenny discussed how he felt ‘shame’ regarding the periods he experienced after transitioning, and decided to take the job to help men in a similar situation feel more comfortable with themselves.
Our fabulous Kenny fronting a great campaign! ❤️ https://t.co/Lwj04tFcwe— 🇬🇧 Ugly Models 🇬🇧 (@UglyModels) 15 March 2018
“It's something that's not talked about. I've never had a discussion with another trans man about periods and it's quite weird to think that considering it's a normal thing to go through at the end of the day.
“It's a very strange stigma that we shouldn't talk about it and I think that's a bad thing. It should be put in a positive light and say it's OK to talk about things. It's just a natural part of who we are, a normal body function.
“During my transition I did have to deal with experiencing periods each month and the embarrassment and feelings of shame that can come with it.
“That's never easy, for a man or woman, to have to deal with. Periods are something that women often struggle to talk about, and growing up while I was transitioning, I often felt like if they couldn't talk about it, I definitely couldn't.
“I think people are so caught up with the aesthetic of how somebody should look rather than how they feel. Although I felt like a man, my beard only came through then.
“Looking like a man ultimately determined how people looked at me and perceived me. I wanted to be represented and seen as a man, so up until then everything was kind of up and down and going through all these mixtures of feelings; kind of being confused for a while then coming out the other end content and being able to participate especially in campaigns like this.”
However, the internet hasn’t been as welcoming when it comes to Kenny’s appointment. With many wondering how someone who hasn’t experienced a period in over six years is an appropriate choice for a campaign that focuses on them.
Transgender male model fronts new period campaign - The Independent https://t.co/IpwuQbGVjx— GLBT share (@GLBTshare) 15 March 2018
“TBH I'm not that impressed because it suggests that removing the stigma around periods requires the input of a man,” one user wrote.
“Surely a person who has taken hormones to stop periods is not the person to front a campaign breaking the stigma of periods? He has his own issues as periods are not part of his new gender but it's nothing to do with being a woman & having periods for the next 40 years.”
TBH I'm not that impressed because it suggests that removing the stigma around periods requires the input of a man: "A transgender male model has been announced as the face of a new campaign aiming to challenge the stigma around periods."— Southern Uplander (@UpIander) 15 March 2018
Well this is a head spinner. Period products company wants to take away taboo, have women embrace what makes them women and not be ashamed so uses someone WHO DOESN'T EVEN WANT TO BE A WOMAN? WTF. @thepinkparcel https://t.co/esou78ppQ4— Joani Walsh (@joaniwalshi) 15 March 2018