As A Trans Man, Buying My First Binder Changed My Life
Politics and Activism

As A Trans Man, Buying My First Binder Changed My Life

This simple garment has made me feel unbelievably good.

823
Flavnt

On Monday, April 30th, I walked to my apartment's mail center with shaky hands and a racing heart. I had gotten the email that my package had finally arrived. I had ordered my first binder, and it was waiting in that tiny mailroom for me.

My mind was racing. After today, everything would be different. I'd be one step closer to passing as a male to the typical American citizen. Everything would start to feel real now.

I showed the lady in the mailroom my ID and she handed me the large, white envelope. There was no evidence of the contents inside; the company's name was nowhere to be found. Inconspicuous packaging for the safety of those who bought it.

I practically ran back to my apartment to try it on. I prayed it fit. I ripped open the package and a black tank top fell out. I smiled so wide my cheeks began to hurt.

Body dysphoria is a condition transgender people have in which parts of your body make you feel extremely uncomfortable to the point where you cannot look at your reflection without feeling some sort of disgust. I had always had issues with my body in the past, but I had just assumed it was because I am overweight and society's fatphobia was taking a toll on me. Not exactly the case.

Yes, society is extremely fatphobic, but in my case, the problem was that I am not a girl.

This realization changed my life.

I held the binder in my hands and read the instructions that came with it. "Place it over your head like a tank top." Sounded easy enough. I slipped off my top, shimmied my hands and forearms into the binder, and attempted to stretch it over my head.

Here are massive realizations I had.

1. Binders are extremely, extremely tight.

The material would not budge. This was going to take a while. Alright. I bunched the binder and placed it around my neck like a scarf. I tried to pull the bottom of the binder down, but it was going to take some force. I pulled harder. This was not something one can simply slip into. It didn't move.

2. I was having extreme difficulty putting this on.

I panicked a bit. Would I have to exchange it? My heart sank as I thought about waiting another two weeks for processing and shipping. I had been dealing with dysphoria for such a long time now. I wanted to ease it now.

Could I even put binders on? They were so, so tight. Was this even worth it? Was I even a man in the first place or had I tricked myself into thinking that and I have been faking this whole time!?

3. I needed to chill out.

I didn't give up hope. Every trans guy who has used a binder said it would take a bit to put on. I didn't give up. I grabbed the bottom mesh and pulled. Bit by bit, I tugged and yanked and twisted until finally, the material shifted.

The binder was on.

For the first time in a decade, my chest was flat.

And I was elated.

I was flat. I threw on a t-shirt and looked in the mirror. My chest looked like a man's chest. I was grinning like a kid on Christmas.

I did some tests to make sure it fits properly (ill-fitting binders can do serious damage to your ribs, so making sure it fit properly was imperative. I'd deal with waiting two weeks over fractured ribs any day). I stretched my arms over my head, twisted my core, jumped up and down, and took deep breaths. There was no pain, except for a feeling of tightness in my chest, which is perfectly normal.

The binder fits like a glove. As long as I wear it for less than eight hours, I am completely safe.

My mind was racing of the newfound possibilities. I could wear button ups. I could wear t-shirts. I could wear tank tops. I could wear whatever top I wanted without chest dysphoria.

If I played my cards right, I might even have a stranger call me sir.

The thought of being validated like that made me giddy. I Snapchatted picture after picture to my friends and received nothing but love and support in return. I was beaming. I never wanted to take the binder off.

Dysphoria can be crippling for a trans person. In my case, being called "she" and "her" in public hurts. I give my name, Milo, but it doesn't click for most people.

Of course, I don't blame strangers for misgendering me. Being pre-testosterone makes passing very, very difficult. Unless I wear a flashing button with my pronouns on it, there really isn't any way for strangers to know I'm actually a dude. Which is completely fair.

It just sucks.

But, I take this feeling and channel it towards hope. When I am on hormones, and when I do start passing, it's going to feel unbelievably good. I just have to be patient.

This past Monday marked an important milestone in my journey to becoming my true self. I am so happy with the progress I have made so far, and I am so excited about the future progress I will make.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

For a long time, Goya has been a staple in some Latino households. People carry around jars of Adobo when they eat at friend's houses and packets of Sazón Goya can be found in almost everyone's pantry. Many BuzzFeed lists, videos, and memes aimed at Latinos reference Goya somewhere.

But in a year that just keeps hitting us with bad news, Goya Foods CEO Robert Unanue said that Trump was an "incredible builder" and that the US was "blessed" to have him as president at a White House event on Thursday.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

Raven Baxter Was Our Favorite Teen Fashion Icon And We're Still Recreating Her Best Looks, Here

We take a look at Disney's most fashion-forward show to recreate some iconic looks.

Disney Plus

I grew up in the early 2000s. And, like any child at the time, I was hooked on Disney Channel shows. My favorite was and is "That's So Raven."

Raven is a teenage psychic navigating life in hopes of not revealing her powers. Only her family and close friends know she has them. Her powers oftentimes get her in trouble, which is where the comedy comes in. But, they also teach her and her friends sentimental life lessons.

Keep Reading... Show less

Sobriety is so underrated, even when it comes to healthcare. The instant gratification of a substance or drink isn't exactly as gratifying as some people may think. For those of you who've never been hungover, consider yourself lucky — a hangover is biologically horrifying. A hangover is not instant gratification, so who are we kidding when people say "it just feels good." Being healthy actually feels good and won't hurt you or your bank account in the morning. The best way to be healthy is to choose sobriety.

Keep Reading... Show less

Ah, yes. The juice cleanse. Yet another popular diet trend that promises to magically solve all of your health, nutrition, and weight issues.

When you take a close look, juice cleanses aren't as magical as they are made out to be, and in fact, they might do more harm than good.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

Unauthorized Plastic Surgery Is Totally Unethical, And Happening WAY More Often Than We Know ‬

Plastic surgery for cosmetic enhancements has you looking more botched than beautiful and it’s painful to see.

Coming from someone who could afford numerous cosmetic enhancing procedures I would never in a million years cut up my face or my body. I'm pretty emphatic and when I watch these brainwashed victims with bandages and chronic inflammation (swollen lips) I literally feel their pain.

Keep Reading... Show less

I've never been big on casual wear or athleisure. Most people who know me have never seen me in sweats. But, I do have those two or three pairs of sweats I can't resist climbing into the second I get home, the newest addition of which is the extra cozy Odyssey crewneck sweatshirt I got in an XL size to feel as close to being wrapped in a blanket at all times as possible.

In the past several months, I've started to expand my horizons, considering the ways in which I can bring my small wardrobe of comfortable bedroom clothing into the public. I've experimented with topping leggings and a sports bra with a denim jacket to the park, and an oversized sweatshirt worn as a dress, cinched at the waist with a belt when I'm out wearing leggings.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

How To Dress Like Your Favorite 'Insecure' Characters — Without Spending $2,000

We take a look at the fashion of Insecure season 4, and how you can create these looks yourself.

HBO

Insecure is one of my favorite shows ever. It really encapsulates what it's like being a Black 20-something, trying to navigate the many ups and downs of life. Issa, Molly, Kelli, and Tiffany are living their best lives in California while dealing with the twists and turns that come with that.

From life to relationships to careers, this show truly captures everything that runs through my mind on a daily basis. The show has a sense of realness and a strong frankness that makes you gravitate toward the characters and root for their success.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

Making A Food Instagram Was The Greatest Silver Lining To Come Out Of My COVID-19 Experience

With the crazy and scary times that 2020 has brought, find comfort in the one thing everyone loves: food.

The waiter briskly moves towards us and stops just a foot away table, balancing the black serving tray stacked high with the ceramic plates that make-up our dinner. From memorization, he beings gently, but purposely, sliding everyone's orders in front of them and within seconds I'm am starring my meal.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments