It Matters. PERIOD.


With doors opening at 7pm, the vendors and panellists began to filter in through the front doors before the event, setting up in a frenzy of activity. There were tables to be put up, a poster to hang, cookies to set out, and people to corral. Excited conversations flitted overhead as things began to come together.

This was going to be a good night, we could all feel it.

As people began to arrive, right on time, the excitement became palpable – you could cut through it with a butter knife if you tried! There were folks from all over that came to see the movie and panellists, browsing the vendors with smiles under their masks.

Then there was a call.

“The movie will start soon!”

People begin to move as one. A crowd, coming together to celebrate menstrual equity and contemplate period poverty, shuffled into the theatre. Some took red drops to write on, others settled in with popcorn. Others still lingered at the tables, finally taking their seats as the microphone crackled to life.


Running from 7pm until 9pm on May 24th, It Matters. Period. was an event that featured several vendors, a short film, and a discussion panel. It was a wonderful evening, full of great talks of all kinds around menstruation equity and access.

There were all kinds of vendors with an array of wares. Some, like Rad Riot Books or Milo/Tia Liet, sold books and zines, Fondly Foraged sold bookmarks and keychains. Others, like Hush Puppy Designs, sold prints and artwork – A. Decker even sold puzzles! There was a booth from the Kitchener Public Library, a prize wheel at the Changing The Flow table and menstruation care cookies from Sticks & Scones  Period product donations were collected for Moon Time Sisters. With a little something for everyone, the room was full of excitement!

After the vendors area was the theatre, which, once everyone was seated, showed ‘Free Period’, a film that is available on Alison Piper’s website.

 Screengrab from the movie Free Period, showing the title overlaid on two students using a hand dryer

 A short film depicting the plight of a girl on her period who has no access to menstrual products and her retaliation to the situation. it brought thunderous applause as the lights rose and left plenty to think and talk about.

Then came the panel. Made up of the moderator, Deepa Ahluwalia, and panellists TK Pritchard, Selam Debs, Maddie Resmer, and Amy Smoke, so much great information was shared between them. Speaking to a need for better education for all people, to the need for access to products in all spaces, and the need for a removal of stigma. Education was a very important topic, how children and teens and adults all still need to learn, and how school education around menstruation in general is severely lacking, even now.

“Equity starts here, in the home. Just like toilet paper.” - Amy Smoke

There were discussions of who even gets access right now, and how we need to change it. There was a long conversation about barriers to accessing menstrual care and the populations most vulnerable to inequity; from the discussion of period poverty sprang the need to name colonization as a root of shame, and the need for a shift in perspective as a society, highlighting how intertwined these issues really are.

“From an Anishnaabe perspective, originally menstruation was a great time for ceremony.” - Maddie Resmer

The final question that was left with the speakers was also a moment to impart wisdom to the crowd. Speaking of the need for fresh perspectives of the systems that keep period poverty in place, of education again, and of action. A call to stop the problem at its core and an invitation to dedicate an action to ending menstrual inequity.

Once the speakers were finished and people had filed out of the theatre, dropping their new commitments to end menstrual inequality into a box, there was even enough time to mill about the vendors and buy some popcorn!

All in all, it was an amazing night, and I wish everyone could attend an event as engaging and informative as this one.

Milo Hansen (they/he), also known as queer speculative fiction author Tia Liet, is a zinester and community advocate living in Kitchener, Ontario. Between being a self-published author, working with the Housing Lived Expertise Working Group, and volunteering with various communities, they always try to make time for what makes them passionate. When between writing projects, they choose to spend their free time painting, crafting, photographing, programming, creating, and learning new things.

Instagram @milothansen


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