It’s hard to describe the joy that was in the air at the recent NYC Pride. Yes, that might sound a bit naff, but the name pride couldn’t be more fitting for this event. Not in all cases, but in many, those that had gathered had experienced human behaviour at its worst – violence, exclusion, name calling and more – all because they have chosen to live their lives and identify themselves as something beyond what, at some point in time, society mistakenly chose to label ‘normal’. All right-thinking people know there is no such thing as normal. If we were all the same life would be so fucking boring – to put it mildly and NYC was a celebration of that fact. Be proud of who you are. You are you.
As I watching this amazing event unfold, which marked the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, I felt so overwhelmed. An estimated crowd of 4 million people (which is the population of New Zealand where Hello Cups are made) had turned out to celebrate diversity and witness the Pride March. Every single person I met was happy – happy to be amongst a group of people who were celebrating the definition of what humanity should look like.
I was at Pride because my menstrual cup company, Hello Cup, is working on some fun projects with non-binary model and activist Rain Dove. Alongside Rain, we want to help people with periods have an awareness and access to reusable, environmentally friendly menstrual products such as menstrual cups. We also want to start a conversation around the fact periods aren’t necessarily a female thing and people who don’t identify as female have periods too (dun dun duuuun). Rain is one of those – and a photo they posted on Instagram a few months ago caused a stir. Why? The image was confronting to some – it showed Rain, who is known for challenging gender stereotypes by modelling as both a male and a female, in white boxer shorts stained with menstrual blood (see image here). Not your typical over-styled, photoshopped Insta pic, it was a great way to start an important conversation and also a fab example of how one person with a platform can educate a mass audience.
Co Founder of The Hello Cup, Robyn McLean (me!) with Rain Dove @raindovemodel
Rain and their friends, who I had the pleasure to hang with over NYC Pride, have all experienced firsthand the most atrocious hate from their fellow humans. That hate is driven by ignorance. Rain fights back with kindness, but not all are as strong as Rain. There’s a disproportionately high rate of suicide in the LGBTIQ community. Pride Month was an opportunity for those who had been marginalised in the past, to come together en masse. It was an amazing thing to witness. At Hello Cup we’ve put kindness at the forefront of everything we do. We are all human. Let’s be kind to each other. Period.