One of the ways HCAI’s Youth and Family Program provides support for trans, nonbinary, and genderfluid youth is through our ongoing Binder Drive.
Chest binders are special clothing that compress chest tissue to provide the appearance of a flat chest. For some trans and non-binary people, their chest can be a source of dysphoria. Binding can, therefore, reduce gender dysphoria and improve one’s emotional wellbeing. To date, HCAI has raised enough funds to provide free chest binders to hundreds of youths and continue to do so.
Here are some Do’s and Don’ts
If you take care of yourself and your binder, you should be on a good and healthy path. However, if you do not, you could cause yourself to have problems in the long run. Chest binding can be extremely dangerous if not done correctly.
Consult with your family and your health care provider before making the decision to use a chest binder. Contact your health care provider if you have any questions regarding the use of a binder or experience any symptoms while binding.
- Measure yourself for the correct binder size and get one that’s not too small or large.
- Be sure you can breathe while wearing your binder.
- Stretch while wearing your binder, so it fits more to your body.
- Make sure your binder is properly washed and clean before wearing.
- Bind for more than 6-8 hours a day.
- Wear your binder for days without washing.
- Wear your binder while working out.
- Wear your binder while you sleep.
- Bind your chest with Ace bandages or Duct Tape. If you don’t have any other option, do it over a t-shirt.
How to wear your binder
Hold both straps of the shirt and step into the garment. Pull up the garment and slide arms through armhole and adjust for comfort.
How to wash your binder
Wash in cold water, gentle cycle, tumble dry low or flat dry. No bleach or ironing.
To check out a sizing chart and obtain a free chest binder through HCAI’s Youth and Family Program, click here.