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To Sam

Gender confusion and binding

so im confused about gender at the moment and i bind with 2 sports bras. it helps me feel more comfortable with my body. i dont know what gender i identify as ajd it is causing me alot of distress , any help?


Ask Sam


Hi there,

Many people feel clear about their gender identity and are comfortable with it both inside and out. Others might not be as clear and there may be a journey they take to understand their gender identity better. Some people might feel clear about their gender identity but aren’t comfortable with it. They know that it doesn't match what they see on the outside. For them the journey might be more about coming to terms with this or making changes to become the gender they feel on the inside.

The journeys people go on to discover or accept their gender can be long and there might be some tough times along the way. It's tempting to try and do it alone - but you don't have to and finding trustworthy people to share your thoughts and feelings with is really important.

Binding is when someone who has breasts wears tight fitting tops or bandages to flatten their chest. There are specialist bras that do this and if you’re going to wear a binder it's important to be careful with it. Wearing a binder all of the time can cause problems with rashes or yeast infections. They can also cause back problems and breathing issues if worn for too long. It’s important to spend time not wearing the binder as well. There are some other dangers with binding as it's sometimes possible to cause permanent changes to the shape of your breasts. Some experts think that long-term breast binding might make surgery to remove breasts more difficult in the future.

There isn't a lot of research on the effects of breast binding. The few studies that have been done have shown there are side effects in nearly all cases so speaking to your doctor first is a good idea. The side effects of binding may be reduced with the right routine and advice. It's important to be comfortable with your body but it's also important to look after your health. It’s important to feel good about yourself without doing harm.

I hope this has helped, our counsellors are there if you want to talk about this more.

Take care.


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