Sexual health education in middle schools has needed an inclusive update for a while now, but this one city in England is attempting to get it right.
Brighton and Hove, a city of about 280,000 in East Sussex, England, has made an addendum that will increase inclusivity in their classrooms. The landmark report mandates learning about periods should be “inclusive of all genders.”
This is part of an effort to tackle “period poverty” or lack of access to menstrual products in the towns. The document advises that all school bathrooms be equipped with bins for disposal of sanitary products.
“Trans boys and men and non-binary people may have periods,” it states. “Pupils with very early onset puberty and trans pupils and students are provided with additional support perhaps from a school nurse if needed.”
The report included national statistics saying that 10 percent of girls in the UK cannot afford menstrual products and 49 percent have missed a day of school because of their periods.
Brighton and Hove Council will also be teaching boys about menstruation and they will be putting sanitary bins in boys’ toilets in schools to normalize periods and support trans boys. While the UK is still divided over transgender rights, the government is conflicted about amending the Gender Recognition Act to allow trans folks to more easily change their legal gender.
We’re so glad that Brighton and Hove is taking these essential steps to promote inclusivity in their city and make their trans men and boys feel safer. Hopefully, the rest of the world, including the U.S. will take note and follow suit.