The first thing I wanted to do when I came out was start binding. For those of you who aren’t aware of what binding is, binding is the compression of your chest (t.w. boobs). This was and still is a rather difficult task for me, due to my large chest size. Most trans men if they have not had top surgery bind for multiple reasons such as dysphoria or to present with a more masculine body. The reason I bind is for a couple of different reasons, I have severe top dysphoria and I also want to present as male in public. For those of you unaware of what dysphoria is trans people encounter what is called gender dysphoria the distress of someones body that doesn’t match with their mind.
There are different ways to bind some safe and some not so safe. Here are a few of the ways that you can bind; use a manufactured binder (specifically for binding), duck tape, ace bandage, and KT tape. There is only one type of binding I recommend and currently use which is purchasing a manufactured binder from a company that specializes in this type of clothing. The two most popular binders today are GC2B and Underworks. The safest and most effective method is using a manufactured binder that is specifically used for binding.
Binding can be hurtful to your body if it is not done properly. It can cause the individual to break ribs, cause respiratory distress, degrade muscle mass, and more. When using a binder you should not wear it more than 8 hours a day to avoid some of these things from occurring. Wearing a binder over time breaks down your tissue and muscle mass as it is you don’t want to amplify that by wearing it for longer than you should in a 24 hour period. When purchasing a binder you also want to make sure you get the correct size so pay attention to the size charts on each website. Each binder is different so make sure you size according to their instructions.
The binder I currently use is a GC2B full tank binder. I recommend a full tank binder for anyone with a larger chest to help with the compression of the sides of your chest. The GC2B binder is extremely comfortable and made of a soft material. It provides good compression and is made specifically for transgender men unlike some other binder brands out there. The GC2B brand is the one I recommend and wear on a daily basis. It is comfortable and sturdy. If you purchase this binder or any other binder beware about washing the binder in a washing machine. You should always hand wash a binder and air dry so that you don’t hinder the elasticity in the binder the binds your chest.
Binding can be a struggle especially in the middle of the summer when its a 100 degrees outside. I already get really hot and it hasn’t even hit the 80’s on a regular basis outside yet. Some other ways to minimize the appearance of your chest is to wear baggy shirts and button ups. I personally like button ups because they conceal your chest well and you don’t feel like you have to constantly pick up your shirt and fan it out to make it appear like you have no chest. The fact that I have a large chest makes my struggle even harder. So for all you guys with big chest I know your pain.
I have been told the longer you are on HRT the easier it is to bind because you tend to lose the density in your chest. My ultimate goal is to eventually get top surgery when I can afford it. I know that not everyone desires to have top surgery and to each their own, but for me to feel comfortable in my own skin I want the surgery.
For those of you who can’t afford a binder look at websites like pointofpride.org who donate binders on a regular basis to those in need. There are other sites and Facebook pages that also do giveaways for binders. If you want to check out GC2B here is the link to their website: https://www.gc2b.co/ There are other brands out there so if GC2B isn’t right for you go check out the other brands and find one that fits you the best. Remember you are the one who has to wear it and need to be comfortable in it. Just remember be safe and don’t wear it for to long. If you all have any questions about binding let me know and I will be more than happy to help.