You may know Thinx for its innovative period panties, but the company just got even more awesome. Today, Thinx launched a new series of ads starring transgender model Sawyer DeVuyst — making it the first menstruation ad campaign to feature a trans man. The ads, which appear on the Thinx website, as well as in New York City's Union Square subway station, feature DeVuyst and other models in images flipped upside down and sideways to represent the company's shifting the perspective on periods, CEO Miki Agrawal told Bustle. "We thought it was high time that people see a menstruating trans man 10 feet tall in the subway," Agrawal said. "Just as with any of our other campaigns, it's going to be a little jarring to have it plastered all over somewhere as bustling as Union Square, but that's what it takes to break taboos. It's a very real and inclusive portrayal of periods as we experience them." The online ad campaign also features a conversation with DeVuyst, in which he says that he came out when he was an adult — at 23 years old.
"I didn't start hormones until I was 28," DeVuyst, now 30, explains. "That leaves me with five-ish years of identifying as a man but also getting my period. I would wear multiple pairs of underwear with a pair of boxers on top of that just to make sure that I didn't leak anywhere, or that no one knew that I had my period." "Everyone experiences dysphoria at some point about their body, whether you’re a man or a woman, whether you’re trans or cisgender," he says. "A product like Thinx really makes people feel secure, and that’s regardless of if you’re a woman or a trans man or a non-binary trans person who gets their period." DeVuyst isn't the first transgender model to nab a major campaign deal — in 2014, Lea T became the face of Redken. Last year, Jazz Jennings became a spokesperson for Clean & Clear, and Andreja Pejic became the first transgender model to grace the glossy pages of Vogue. However, Thinx's inclusion of a trans model in an ad about periods is pretty monumental. Like DeVuyst says, "A lot of people don't realize that some men do get their periods, because it's just not talked about."
The company, which launched a pair of period underwear in a boyshort style last November in honor of Transgender Awareness Week, hopes to make strides in the way we talk about menstruation. As Agrawal told Bustle, Thinx wants to "reclaim the anxiety and shame surrounding your period, and to aim-fire at the patriarchy with our humorous, cheeky, and infectious feminist voice." Hear, hear.