An endometriosis advocate angers bigots with a factual post about trans men with the condition

Zahra McDonald has a trans-inclusive social media account to raise awareness of endometriosis. (@endoitwithzahra/Instagram)

An endometriosis advocate has angered bigots after sharing a factual post about trans men with the condition. 

Endometriosis can cause severe period pain, pain during sex, pelvic pain outside of the menstrual cycle, pain when passing a bowel motion or urine, bloating, fatigue, and difficulty conceiving. 

In an effort to raise awareness about the condition, fellow endo-warrior Zahra McDonald took to her endometriosis account on Instagram to share a trans-inclusive post on 5 May. “Endometriosis is not a women’s-only condition,” the infographic read. 

“Endometriosis can affect anyone, and in particular trans men,” the caption began. “When people use the words ‘women’s health’, ‘women with endo’ it can be super damaging and isolating for those who don’t identify as women, or for men with endometriosis.

“Endometriosis has also been found in cis males. The more we stop using the word ‘women’, the more inclusive we can be,” the Adelaide native rightly concluded. 

Since the content creator made the post on her 4,000-strong account, she has had people unfollow her and send transphobic messages. “F**k off. It is only a woman’s issue. Stop mocking endometriosis and all the WOMEN it affects,” one comment beneath the post reads. “Oh f**k right off,” another comment echoes.

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“It is extremely rare that I get hate comments, as my content is always to bring awareness and relatability for people with endometriosis,” McDonald tells PinkNews.

“But following my post about trans men with endometriosis, I have received a few hate comments. Hate comments rarely do upset me as they normally come from a person’s own hate within themselves and being uneducated or hurt.

“I try my best to educate, but some people just want to hate and hurt others, and I can’t help that,” she explains. 

In Australia, endometriosis affects one in nine people – including women, trans men and non-binary people with uteruses, according to the Australian Department of Health and Aged Care

Though endometriosis lesions are most commonly found in the pelvic region, the condition has been found in virtually every organ in the body, according to Center For Endometriosis. In very rare circumstances, it has been found in cisgender men or those with penises, as per Case Reports in Obstetrics and Gynecology

Gatekeeping conditions like endometriosis as a women-only condition can further isolate and prevent diagnoses for all the people it affects. In fact, research from Stonewall in 2018 found that 14 per cent of LGBTQ+ people and 37 per cent of trans people have avoided accessing healthcare services because they fear being discriminated against

Despite the onslaught of unjustified hate McDonald has received for her important post, she’s received support from the trans community for drawing attention to the condition. 

“Since my post, so many trans men and women have thanked me and spoken about their struggles, as well as fears surrounding the hate and misinformation.”

“I really want people to know how much endometriosis can affect trans men,” McDonald, who was diagnosed with Endometriosis and adenomyosis in 2023 following a laprscopy, adds. “Just because they are trans men does not make it any less important and prevalent. 

“Endometriosis has even been found in cis men. This shows that we really need to be using inclusive language as it can truly affect anyone.”

If you think you have endometriosis, talk to your doctor about your symptoms. You can use the online Raising Awareness Tool for Endometriosis to help you and your doctor recognise endometriosis and its related symptoms, which could help you get diagnosed faster. 

If this story has affected you, call the QENDO support line on 1800 275 573636 for free 24/7 to speak with a trained support worker.