'Always' removing female symbol from its packaging to be more inclusive, according to company

(CBS)- Always is officially removing the Venus female symbol from the packing of its menstruation products. The announcement follows pleas from LGBTQ activists to make the labeling more inclusive of transgender and non-binary customers.

"For over 35 years Always has championed girls and women, and we will continue to do so," the brand's parent company Procter & Gamble said in a statement. "We're also committed to diversity & inclusion and are on a continual journey to understand the needs of all of our consumers."

LGBTQ activist Ben Saunders reportedly asked Always over the summer to change its packaging to be more inclusive. Saunders was named Young Campaigner of the Year by the charity Stonewall after producing a short film highlighting transgender people in the U.K.

The packaging change will happen starting in 2020, a spokesperson told CBS News.

"We routinely assess our products, packaging, and designs," P&G said. "We take into account a broad array of factors, including feedback from
consumers, to ensure we are meeting the needs of everyone who uses our products. The change to our pad wrapper design is consistent with that practice, and will be adapted by multiple markets at various dates."

LGBTQ activists and allies have been publicly asking P&G to redesign the packaging to be more gender-neutral. They argued that using the female symbol is exclusive because not all women menstruate, and not all people who menstruate identify as women.

While LGBTQ and health advocates championed the move, a number of customers expressed outrage that the change appears to "eliminate" women. The hashtag #BoycottAlways sparked a slew of transphobic comments on social media.

But those who support the change said eliminating gendered packaging could help relieve some of the dysphoria experienced by transgender and non-binary people.

"Some trans men/non binary people menstruate. As do cis women who despise overly feminine products," tweeted Dr. Jen Gunter, an OB-GYN. "Cis women who can't menstruate and trans women are harmed by the assumption that menstruation defines femininity. Less ink for printing better for planet. This is a win all around."