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binders and passing - Go Ask Aidan. Or Kat. [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Good and not-so-good advice about gender.

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binders and passing [Mar. 11th, 2010|04:51 pm]
Good and not-so-good advice about gender.


I'm 16, female-bodied but still confused about gender identity and such. When I was about 14 I decided that I was definitely FTM, but since then I've changed a lot and don't have any definite answers. I don't want any kind of surgery right now (and probably can't anyway), but I still feel very uncomfortable with having breasts and a female figure. I don't think I would want to do any permanent transitioning until after I finish school next year anyway, as I couldn't cope with that sort of 'coming out' yet and I'm at a really small school so it would become a huge deal (I have in passing mentioned to a few close friends that I'm not totally comfortable with being female though). My question is this: I already have short hair and have been 'mistaken' for a boy on a few occasions due to my wearing mostly masculine clothing. Do you think wearing a binder would be enough for now for me to pass? Or would it look strange with the rest of my body? I'm not really that curvy but I do have noticeably female hips.

[User Picture]From: samwhise
2010-03-11 08:11 pm (UTC)
I think experimenting with binding is something that can definitely help figure out how you're comfortable presenting and appearing to the world at large. There are a lot of things that go into whether people read you as male or female, so it's hard to say whether binding will push people to read you as male most of the time, but if it's something you think could help you feel more comfortable with yourself then you should definitely give it a try. I don't know if you've seen this before, but there's a decent compendium of binding methods here, several of which are pretty inexpensive.

Another small note: if you hang around in the trans-etc. LJ communities, you'll notice that a lot of people feel really uncomfortable with phrases like "female-bodied," because that kind of phrasing makes it sound like trans men are REALLY women/trans women are REALLY men, which is obviously not the case. "Female/male-assigned at birth" (or FAAB/MAAB) is how it usually gets worded.
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[User Picture]From: evidence_lost
2010-03-12 02:11 pm (UTC)
Oh great, thanks! This looks really helpful. I've seen some other stuff about binding, but most of it wasn't very useful.
I knew I'd mis-phrased something! Thanks so much, of course that's what I meant to say (hate writing posts in a rush, always end up not getting the words right).
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[User Picture]From: samwhise
2010-03-12 07:11 pm (UTC)
Glad I could help. And yeah, language can get a little tricky because there are so few widely-known words to talk about trans issues that don't implicitly make the junk people were assumed to be born with more important than the way we experience our lives/bodies/etc.

Good luck :)
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