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May 10, 2014 / Charlie McNabb

Last Call for Menarche Research Participation!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted an update about the Menarche Narratives project, but the research has been going strong.  To summarize for those unfamiliar with this project, I’ve been performing ethnographic research with LGBTQ folks who have, at some point, had a menstrual period. I’m collecting menarche (first period) stories as well as experiences with puberty in relation with gender and sexual identity.

I have a lot of interviews and surveys and am indebted to the folks who have been willing to share their stories and experiences. The research is uncovering a lot of interesting themes; some that I expected, and some that have been surprising. I’m currently working on a chapter for a book about folklore and health. It’s an exciting book and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.

However, I’ve noticed that there is a definite skew in my research participant pool. I have a great many informants who identify as lesbian, queer, or bisexual, and quite a few who identify as questioning or curious. But I only have a few who identify as transgender or genderqueer. I have some ideas of why this might be (dysphoria might make some folks unwilling to discuss menstruation; my data collection was in places where people are generally happy to talk about such things; and there are, in fact, less trans*-identified folks statistically).

I’m putting out one last call for participation, because I really feel that trans* voices are silenced and ignored, yet trans* experiences are vital to understanding how marginalized bodies are treated in popular culture and at the doctor’s office. If you identify as transgender, genderqueer, gender nonconforming, or anywhere else under the trans* umbrella, if you’re 18 years of age or older, and if you have had a menstrual period and are willing to talk about it, please email me ( and we can arrange an email or instant messaging interview (or in-person, if you happen to live in Eugene, Oregon or surrounding areas).

Otherwise, please share this post with anyone who might be interested!


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