The Always brand is removing the female symbol from its sanitary product packaging — a nod to transgender and gender-non-conforming customers who may use their products, according to a new report.
Procter & Gamble, the brand’s parent company, said that it would remove the Venus signs from its packaging beginning in December and all of its products — distributed worldwide — will have a new design by February, NBC reported.
The decision came after trans activists — starting with 18-year-old Ben Saunders from the UK, who was named campaigner of the year by the LGBT charity Stonewall — voiced his concerns to Always on Twitter in June, Newsweek reported.
Another advocate, Molly Bloom, also came forward, according to NBC.
“Could someone from Always tell me why it is imperative to have the female symbol on their sanitary products?” Bloom tweeted. “There are non-binary and trans folks who still need to use your products too you know!”
Procter & Gamble explained its decision in a statement issued to the network.
“For over 35 years, Always has championed girls and women, and we will continue to do so. We’re also committed to diversity and inclusion and are on a continual journey to understand the needs of all of our consumers,” the company said Monday.
LGBTQ health experts praised the company’s decision.
“This is a great move,” Dr. Jack Turban, a resident physician in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, told NBC in an email. “First of all, the symbol is unnecessary. Second of all, it sends a message to transgender and non-binary people who need these products that their identities are embraced and supported by the company.”
But dozens bashed the company on Twitter, launching the hashtag “#boycottAlways,” claiming that the company was “erasing women.”