Jamie Raines, a 22-year-old transgender man from the United Kingdom, revealed during a video June 14 the experience of having a menstrual cycle for the first time in nearly four years and detailed the experience to nearly 100K followers.
Shortly after quitting a certain testosterone injection and switching to a less potent form, Raines experienced a cycle for the first time since transitioning from female to male five years ago.
“A little while after I switched … I had a visit from an incredibly, very unwelcome guest,” Raines said during a YouTube video. “I basically got my period for the first time in, like, nearly four years. I felt really kind of very awful about it at the time.
“I was just crying, and it was horrible,” the YouTube star added.
But, Raines continued, “It didn’t make me any less of a man.”
During a discussion with Refinery29, Raines described the incident as a catalyst to start a conversation for others going through the same type of thing: “It took me a few months to have the idea that it might be a good topic to talk about, and then another couple of months to feel ready to talk about it.”
Refinery29 noted that Raines’ story was an important one to share, because, as the outlet noted, “While Raines says that his situation was very specific, it draws more attention to the fact that men can get periods — and it’s time we start discussing it more often.”
Commenters on the video and Refinery29 interview weren’t as supportive as Raines may have hoped, however.
“You know what he really needs to get? Some serious psychological counseling,” one commenter wrote on the article.
Another added a longer defense against men having menstrual cycles:
Men cannot have periods. End of story. Women, trying to chemically become men via hormones? Yes. They can get periods. I’m not trying to be mean, just going with scientific FACTS. Belief does not change your gender, neither does hormones or surgery. You can change your appearance with both, but you cannot change the fact that even a slight deviation of those hormones & your body will go back to what it is supposed to be doing, what it is made to do. Your chromosomes determibe [sic] your gender, not your desire or what you want to identify as … it’s a scientific fact.
One commenter wrote, “You having your period is Nature telling you that you are a woman, not a man.”
“Maybe you got your period because you’re still a woman?” another posted.
“[A] woman got her period…. big deal,” an unimpressed commenter said.
“Why didn’t you just socially construct yourself to not have a period?” one viewer asked.
And another commenter wrote: “Newsflash [sic], You are a WOMAN!! You may think you are a Man, but your DNA does not change, no matter what you ‘feel.'”