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Just Being Me, Period.

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As a genderqueer individual, naturally I wanted to pick and choose

traits/characteristics from the binary baskets of puberty to build the human that is me;

flat chest, but still have some hip curves;

and thank you, but no thank you to a menstrual cycle;

If only.

So, every month this intrusive frenemy enthusiastically greets me.

“Hello! I’m back!” say the sometimes intense menstrual cramps, back spasms and occasional nausea,

to prepare me for five days of secret bleeding. But who would make me

want to hide from this?

The world would.

The world would have me hide in shame for five days.

“Am I bleeding through?” “Better not swim.” “Tough it out. Go to class.”

Even though I didn’t wish for the ability to menstruate, I embrace it.

It is part of me.

It has allowed me to experience things I would never have experienced if I lacked a cycle.

It has allowed me to feel a vulnerable rawness inside me,

and experience a sort of spirituality.

Accept my body like I do.

I shouldn’t feel shame because I’m genderqueer and bleed.

While annoying sometimes, it’s just something my body naturally does.

Most importantly, my menstrual cycle has taught me to love myself and my body for all that it is.

Because bleeding, well, it’s just a part of life.

Period.

#loveyourself   #loveyourbody

About the Author: Erin Phares

Erin (they/them/theirs) identifies as genderqueer/non-binary and autistic. They are a senior at CU Boulder and will receive their BA in Psychology in 2020. Erin enjoys spending time in nature and with friends and family, and likes playing with their two dogs Skylar, a miniature Australian Shepherd and Chloe, a rescue dog, and two cats, Ollie and Pumpkin. They sing in two choirs, compose songs on the piano, and love to read and learn. Erin's interests include social justice activism, intersectionality, and neurodiversity.

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