When Thinx, a line of underwear designed to absorb menstrual blood, launched in 2014 with the slogan "Underwear for women with periods" it gave people pause. One year later, CEO Miki Agrawal told Mic the company had received a flood of emails pointing out that women aren't the only ones who menstruate — transgender men do too.
Thinx has since rebranded with the more inclusive tagline "Underwear for people with periods," and on Tuesday the company made good on its word with an ad campaign featuring trans model and actor Sawyer Devuyst.
Devuyst has been a model for Thinx since 2015, when the company shot a video of him talking his experience as a trans boy and man. "I never felt like I was in the wrong body and I still don't feel like I'm in the wrong body," Devuyst said. "I feel like I'm in the wrong society."
In the video, Devuyst said he spent five years as a man who got his period. To deal with it, Devuyst said he would wear multiple pairs of underwear under boxers to make sure he didn't leak anywhere. Devuyst said he also worried about other men hearing the rustle of a tampon wrapper in the bathroom.
"Society has expectations of what a man is and what a woman is," he said. "If you're not those two things no one knows what to do with you."
Devuyst's ad, where he can be seen modeling Thinx's boyshort, are on display in New York City's Union Square subway station. According to Bustle, it's the first time a trans man has appeared in a campaign for a menstrual product.
Agrawal told the website she hopes the campaign helps normalize menstruation for all genders.
"It's a very real and inclusive portrayal of periods as we experience them," she said. "We thought it was high-time that people see a menstruating trans man 10 feet tall in the subway."