A day in the life of a trans guy – Chest binding pain vs feeling happy/confident out in public

Chest binding pain vs feeling happy/confident out in public

It’s a difficult dilemma, especially in the summer and as here in the UK it’s been a lot hotter for a lot longer then it usually is in June/July or ever actually lol. In the winter I tend not to bother to bind as I can hide my chest with baggy tops and hoodies, so it makes life a bit easier.

It’s also difficult because I have an auto immune disorder which causes joint pain/inflammation etc and I’m more susceptible to broken bones (a few years ago I fractured 5 bones in like 6 months)… so I have to weigh up when is safe to bind and for how long. It means listening to my body and how my body feels. For example if I’m tired and achy then it’s probably not the best idea to bind for 8 hours straight or at all. But I don’t always listen to how I feel, because I’m often disconnected from emotions and my body, I know I need to work on it though. I try and connect with myself by writing, meditation and just sitting quietly. I’ve been trying to do it more often as it does make a difference and helps a bit with the disconnect between mind and body.

The last 3 days I’ve worn my chest binder and 2 days I’ve worn it for the majority of the day and my ribs at the end of the day ache so bad and all I want to do is get home and take it off. But those 3 days I’ve been out in public, so beach one day and the other two days I’ve been around people I don’t really know that well and wearing the binder has made me feel a bit more myself, a bit more confident, less anxious and a bit less self conscious.

Tomorrow I’ll need to give my body a rest a not bind all day. It’s not recommended that you bind all day every day and definitely not recommended to wear it for 8 hours straight, especially when it’s hot.

I’ve been careful to make sure I’m drinking more and eating regularly too. So I’m not dehydrated or hungry.

Chest binding is exhausting, I’ve had mine on for nearly 12 hours… and I can feel it. I’m exhausted, hot and in a lot of pain but it was totally worth it as I’ve felt really good all day… so it’s a real dilemma.

Because of my health issues, I’m used to dealing with joint pain, some days are easier then others. But I know this pain is fairly temporary, cuz as soon as I take the binder off and relax then pain will subside which is good.

I use a high impact sports bra to bind my chest, as I’ve found it the most comfortable (as chest binding can be) an the material isn’t too hot, itchy and scratchy. I’ve tried a range of different chest binders but have found this to be the better one. So it is really important to find a chest binder that feels as comfortable as possible and makes you feel good cuz ultimately that’s the main point. What suits one person may not suit another, so it’s a bit of trial and error. But it’s definitely worth it if you find a binder that you feel comfortable with.

Peace out

Zak

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