Today we’re talking all about chest binding. Chest binding, more commonly referred to as binding, is a super affirming practice used by some trans and gender diverse folks, who were assumed female at birth.
Binding is the act of wearing compressive items of clothing to flatten the chest and create a smoother appearance.
There are numerous ways a person can bind. Some of these ways are safer than others. Wearing specially designed binders or sports crops are two of the safer options.
Some other practices that come with higher risks of personal injury include using compression bandages or duct tape to flatten the chest.
What you will hear about during this episode is:
- What binding is
- How you can bind safely
- The risks associated with binding
- Training while binding
- How physical activity can reduce your chest size
- How to support your body through movement if you bind or have used chest binding in the past
- Accessing affirming items so that you can bind safely
Why Chest Bind?
I would like to be clear that not all trans or gender diverse AFAB folks feel the need to bind. They are happy with their bodies as they are. Having chest dysphoria is not a prerequisite to being valid in your trans or gender diverse experience and there is no right or wrong way to live as your authentic self.
For people who do choose to chest bind, it is a super exciting step in their transition and can be a life changing experience. A binder can empower its wearer to feel more confident in themselves and their identity.
With binding though, there comes a lot of responsibility to take care of your body as you do it.
Chest Binding Safety
Binding safely is vital. Injuries caused by binding too tightly or with items that were not designed for the task can impact a person’s ability to get chest surgery in the future, if this is a path they are pursuing.
Buying A Chest Binder
Access to a good chest binder makes all the difference. There are a bunch of rad as organisations out there who offer binder exchanges and gifted binders.
So who are these most humans? Well I’ll kick it off with Sock Draw Heroes and their pay it forward program. There’s Point of Pride who do binder donations. I found two places on Tumblr which are Tumblr Clothing Exchange and Trans Clothes Swap. For folks in the US under 24yrs old there is FtM Essentials who do a free binder program. Finally there’s Replace the Ace.
Now this is by no means an exhaustive list. I found these in a google search for donated chest binders.
You may also be able to find clothes swaps and binder exchanges in your local TGD support groups (if you are fortunate enough to have one in your area).
Get in touch
If you have any questions about today’s episode or would like to share your experiences with binding please do so in the comments section below.
You can also find me (Bowie) and Non Gendered Fitness (NGF) on instagram at the links below.
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