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A Letter To The Girl I Ended Up Not Being

Max Payne (they/them) | 2.10.2023

I remember when we first started feeling out of place. Do you? It was when our body started to grow and form shapes we didn’t recognize. Mom started talking about “womanhood” and “femininity” and how “sacred” it all was. Do you remember feeling lost? The day you got your period, it was like you were initiated into a club or something, right? Like you finally were able to belong somewhere.

“I’m a GIRL.”

Because what else can you be with a period, right?

Fast forward—you’re a junior in college, 10 years have passed. You’ve struggled, you’ve clawed your way through life. But still you feel like you’re lost. Puzzle pieces not fitting quite right. Then, one day, you see it. A picture of a person on social media. The light in their eyes radiates through your phone and everything clicks.

Nothing about “womanhood” or “femininity” would make sense to you, why would it? You’re not a girl. You’re a person – non-binary – if you really want to label it.

The thing about periods is that they’re going to happen. You get them because your body grew up to have a uterus and a vagina. You can’t control that. What you can control is how you view that part of yourself. Getting periods doesn’t have to be sacred or an indication of your womanhood or femininity. Those words are just words, they don’t have to define you. Only YOU define you.

Ultimately, having a period means you’re healthy. That your body is working the way that it should. Is it uncomfortable and painful? Of course. But you’re alive.

Separate your soul from your body. The vessel that carries you does not have to look like everyone else’s. You’re still part of the club, you just might stand out a little. And when did standing out become a bad thing?

So to that kid out there struggling to find your place, you’re not alone.

Periods are normal.

But they don’t define you.

Max is a total ray of light and we are so lucky that they were on the founding Team August to foster our community into what it is today.

If you want find community within a group of menstruators (and some non-menstruators) looking to reimagine period care – join the Inner Cycle community <3

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