In what was hailed as a forward-thinking, if controversial move from Always, the sanitary napkin maker announced they would update product packaging to include trans men and nonbinary people who menstruate. Now, one of the Drag Race queens has come out against the change.
"I FUCKING CANT," wrote Mayhem Miller in a Tuesday post on Facebook that was deleted Wednesday morning.
"I think it's absolutely ridiculous!" the performer noted in the comment section. "Feminine hygiene products are now under attack for being offensive? Wtf?!?! I don't tell Summers Eves [sic] that I've used there [sic] douche before so I can have clean gay sex... so they should take the lady in the field of flowers off the box cause I'm a man. I washed my but [sic] out and kept pushing (no pun intended)."
Miller, who competed in Season 10 of the longrunning reality show, said "don't buy the product" if you have a problem with what's on the label.
"Their [sic] are multiple brands of tampons/pads out there," he wrote. "Next, are people going to complain cuz the Charmin company has bears wiping there assess [sic] with the tissue cuz some how that's exploitation or cruelty or not inclusive enough. At some point the community should consider what battles are more important."
As Out previously noted, Procter & Gamble -- the makers of Always -- took heat from trans activists and reproductive justice advocates who urged the brand to remember that trans men and nonbinary people use sanitary napkins and that product marketing should be inclusive of them. The Venus symbol, which usually appears as a circle with a small cross appended on the bottom, has long appeared on packaging for Always maxi pads and is synonymous with the female sex.
"We are absolutely grateful for having people like you voicing their opinions," Always said in a tweet to Ben Saunders, an 18-year-old documentarian who led the charge.
Even so, various feminist activists railed against the brand for what was perceived as an act of erasure, since menstrual products and the Venus symbol have been long linked to women.
Miller's post and reaction in the comments sparked a fierce debate, with some coming to the performer's defense and others questioning why she felt so strongly about maxi pads, given the performer's identity out of drag.
"Respectfully even if you identify as trans you're not a customer of feminine hygiene so why is that a problem to you makes no sense [sic]," one commenter wrote. "If something is validating to other people even if you don't get live and let live [sic]."
Hours after the original post, Miller defended the reaction, telling followers that she is not transphobic and didn't intend to be understood as such. "I believe there are much bigger problems like EMPLOYMENT, HOUSING, KEEPING TRANS PEOPLE ALIVE AND PROTECTING THEM that is PARAMOUNT and deserves more focus than a company's product wrapping... but I'm the one who's [sic] character is being attacked," she wrote.
After deleting the Facebook post on Wednesday morning, Miller soon followed up with another written in a more conciliatory tone: "Let me be clear. I am not transphobic. I support trans issues and will continue to do so."
Tampons are among the many products subject to the "Pink Tax," a phenomenon in which everyday products labeled for women get disproportionately taxed when compared to products marketed toward men. Thirty-five states still tax tampons, according to a July report from the New York Times.