The Pride YMM Binder Swap Program is available to help reduce the barriers for trans and non-binary folks in the RMWB to access gender-affirming gear, such as chest binders. Chest binders are specially-designed chest compression garments, used to flatten breast tissue. They are most often used by trans and non-binary people to manage gender dysphoria and/or to feel more comfortable with the way their chest looks and feels. Our goal is to support access to safer chest-binding methods, and provide assistance to anyone experiencing financial barriers in purchasing a new binder.
The RMWB has no local retailers that sell gender-affirming gear, so we also recognize that not all trans and non-binary individuals in the community have the means to purchase a binder online to be shipped here.
We would also like to facilitate an easy and convenient way for folks to pass on a binder that they no longer need to someone in the community who can benefit from one.
How to Donate Binders:
Pride YMM gratefully accepts the donations of new or gently-used chest binders. We accept all styles of binders, and just request that any used binders are in good condition with no rips, tears, broken clasps or hooks, or missing parts. If possible, please wash the binder prior to donating.
Chest binders are most often donated after an individual has had top surgery (mastectomy), or if a binder no longer fits.
We will have drop off bins for binder donations at the following locations:
Monetary Donations: If you would like to support our Binder Swap Program with a monetary donation or sponsorship toward the purchase of new binders, you can donate on our website, by cheque via mail, or in person at our offices with cash or cheque. Please contact email@example.com if you have any questions or if you would like more information on how to support the Binder Swap Program.
How to Receive a Binder:
Binders are available to anyone in the community who needs one. No one is turned away.
You can email firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a time to come to our office at The Redpoll Centre and try on a binder. If you already know your size, please let us know in your email so we can check our inventory to see if we have any available in your size. If you attend the Trans Support Group, we can also arrange to bring a binder there for you to try on.
We will make sure you can move and breathe comfortably in the binder, and provide you with information on how to care for your binder and bind safely. If we do not have a binder in your size, we will take your measurements and contact information so that when one does become available we can get in touch with you.
Skipping Stone Foundation (Calgary, AB) has created a Gender Affirming Gear: Binders information sheet which contains binder considerations, wearing tips, and care instructions. Skipping Stone Foundation also has an extensive Gender Affirming Gear Resource Page on their website with additional recommendations for all varieties of gender affirming gear.
The Pride Centre of Edmonton has created a Safe Binding Guide written by and for people who bind. The guide gives directions on how to put on several different types of binders: pullovers, hook and eyelet, velcro, and zip up. It gives tips on how to take care of your binder, as well as taking care of your body when binding, unsafe binding practices to avoid. The binder guide is available to anyone, not just people who come in for a binder. (Pride Centre of Edmonton, 2023)