Question: Binder for 13 year old

Sky’sMamma asks…

My kiddo is 13 and would like to get a binder. I’m completely supportive of all of the gender non-binary expression that they’ve explored so far. And I want to support them in this physical way too, however, I’m deeply concerned about the intersection of their developmental age and the long term repercussions. All input is helpful!

Sky’sMamma

Please post your response in the comments below.

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Posted by on October 14th, 2015 at 08:00 am

Category: questions 24 comments »

24 Responses to “Question: Binder for 13 year old”

  1. Harley

    Hey, there!
    First off, kudos to you for being so supportive of your kid. It’s awesome-keep it up!
    There are some concerns with binding safely. The first thing is getting the binder from a reputable company. There are cheap binders on sites like ebay, but these tend to be low quality, as well as potentially unsafe. You want a binder with some degree of elasticity-either elastics in the side, or 70% nylon, 30% spandex. Both underworks and gc2b are good, popular sites for binders.
    Once you’ve found a binder, you need to make sure the sizing’s right. Most sites will have a sizing chart, as well as recommendations for what to do if you’re between sizes. If your kid is between sizes, and they don’t have a recommendation, either contact the company or go a size up. Don’t let your kid go a size smaller than the chart says.
    Once the binder has arrived, have your kid try it on and wear it for a bit. If your kid has trouble breathing, or feels that the binder is too tight/too loose, most companies have a system for exchanging the binder for a different size.
    There are some restrictions on how long you can wear a binder. The general rule is, if you’re binding on a regular basis, you should only bind for about 8 hours a day. If you take breaks here and there, you can stretch that time a bit to about 10 hours. You can wear a binder for a maximum of 12 hours in one stretch, but you need to give yourself a break the next day-say, only binding for a few hours.
    Your kid should not sleep or do heavy exercise in a binder. Binders reduce lung capacity, and while this is fine for day-to-day activity levels you need to be able to take deep breaths during sports and such, or you could risk passing out or breaking a rib. During sleep, breathing slows down. Wearing binders during sleep results in even less oxygen getting to the body, which can result in apnea or pneumonia.
    There are a couple of other things, to-here’s a list of binding rules to follow/ensure your kid is following:
    http://theartoftransliness.com/post/58931965086/the-nine-chest-binding-commandments-by-zachary-of
    Good luck!

    [Reply]

    Harley replied:

    Oh, one more thing: Because your kid is still growing, make sure they take new measurements every now and again, so you’ll know when you need to go up a size.

    [Reply]

  2. Frankie

    I as a trans 13 year old have to say health concerns are very important but the same is said for not letting your child bind. It can be the worst torture in the world to look in the mirror so I would say let them bind just regularly ask and check up on them about it. And keep on being supportive! Love the tranny panny Frankie! ?

    [Reply]

  3. ash

    hey! I couldn’t ummm figure out how to ska question so im doing I in the comments if you have any opinion can you please say so….I’m FtM but am still “female” as such but was wondering about binding i’m 11. and my mum believes its this whole massive step… for her. when in fact I get that its quite big for her to be told her daughter is a boy! but I think she could get me a binder I’ve promised for the first few months I will wear it twice or 3 times a week max then slowly go to max 5/6 days a week anyway what are your thoughts on 11 year olds binding or is it too young to know your gender/sex,i don’t think it is and if ur trans (,non-binary,a-gender,gender-fluid,bi-gender etc) then you know what I mean when I say “you know you are not in the correct body”.
    Thanks! ?

    edit: my sister wrote this (and I gave her permission) but I’m 15 and would like to see the answers so I can find out and help her with ?his? transition!

    [Reply]

    Jay replied:

    I believe binding at 11 is perfectly okay. If you were to ask a doctor, they would suggest waiting until at least the age of 16 because of growth and health precautions. I am 12 myself and I just got my first binder. A lot of the time, if you need information about binders you can just look it up on Google and look through a few websites. I, myself have been helped and found that I have been unsafely bindi g because I thought it was supposed to feel that way but it was too tight. If he feel rattling or slight wheezing in his breathing while wearing, he should get out of the binder RiGHT AWAY. It’s great that you want to help because hqving a nonsupportive family/ environment is very damaging. But yes, it is perfectly okay for him to bind it this age as long as he is extra careful and cautious. At the longest, 8hours or less if possible. I wear mine to school so I have it on first about 8 -9 hours at a time but bring a sports bra to school just in case. Because at such a young age and begginging use, I would only use it 3-4 times a week MAX.

    Wishing you the best, Jay

    [Reply]

  4. Emily

    Hey um, I’m 13 and I was wondering if anyone could
    recommend me some websites for binders? Please and
    thank you!

    [Reply]

    Dakota replied:

    Gc2b for sure only one

    [Reply]

  5. Jay

    •Big brothers used binder program
    •In a bind
    •binder boys
    •replace the ace
    •Free/cheap FTM binders Facebook group
    All of the above are websites I’ve seen popularly in pintrest and Tumblr. I personally got mine from Amazon for about $20 bucks and there are probably quite a few other websites you could go to for cheap, good quality binders.

    Wishing you the best of luck, Jay.

    [Reply]

  6. ash

    hey, i’m 14 and my mom thinks it’ll affect my growth and
    i’m tempting to use ace bandages i know it’s not good but i need something for my chest to go down any ideas?

    [Reply]

    aiden replied:

    You really shouldn’t use ace bandages, they will most likely cause many problems such as bruised skin, ribs damaged, and definitely a shortness of breath. Ace bandages could even get rid of your possibility of getting top surgery, if you want that in the future. I would recommend to just wearing two sports bras at a time, it doesn’t make it as flat as a binder but it works and it’s safer than a binder.

    [Reply]

    Anonymous replied:

    You can get in for free in a binder give away site called “point of pride”. It won’t arrive for a while but it’s better then nothing right?

    [Reply]

  7. Anonymous

    Hey I’m 11 and have only told my sister about wanting a binder. In fact she told me about it because of my ‘situation’. Anyways what binder would you recommend? Me and my sister are trying to find a good one. I just need a website and some tips. If you could help me with that, that would be amazing! P.s Does it work to wear two sport bras at a time to bind? Also my sister helped me here and there with this.

    [Reply]

    Anonymous replied:

    For smaller chests sports bras might work. The best website is Gc2b

    [Reply]

  8. Anonymous

    Hello! I’m 11 and have only told my sibling about wanting a binder. In fact she told me about it because of my ‘situation’. Anyways what binder would you recommend? Me and my sister are trying to find a good one. I just need a website and some tips. If you could help me with that, that would be amazing! P.s Does it work to wear two sport bras at a time to bind? Also my sibling helped me here and there with this.

    [Reply]

  9. Loui

    I myself am transgender (female to male)
    I’m at the age of 14 so I was looking for health concerns and safety for chest binding, and I have to say this is very helpful!
    My mother doesn’t want me to bind because she said it might be unhealthy for my growing body, so I’m going to share this information with her so I can feel more like myself!
    Thank you!

    [Reply]

  10. Peroxis

    I’m 12 years old, out to my (accepting) parents as afab non-binary and I have been wearing bras for two years now, but I just started getting a bigger chest recently. I want a binder because my chest makes me feel insecure and uncomfortable. I don’t know how to ask my parents for one? I would like to get mine from gc2b, but they are very expensive and I am worried my parents will think it’s too much money for what it’s worth and they won’t understand how big of a deal it is. I’m really insecure either way, so does anyone have an idea how to ask? Everyone always just says to ask them and get to the point, but it’s not that easy?!? I am also worried they might think I’m a trans male if I use he/him pronouns and want to bind.

    [Reply]

    Anonymous replied:

    You should just be straight with them. If they say no try to give some reasoning like without it you’ll have dysphoria. If they say no again you can always try “point of pride” a binder give away website. They take a while to deliver but it’s worth it trust me

    [Reply]

  11. Anonymous

    Gbsbbs

    [Reply]

  12. Anonymous

    Hi! I’m a 13 year old non-binary, and though my parents are supportive, they don’t understand my chest dysphoria. I asked for a binder and my parents got mad and said that I should like my body. I tried to explain to them what is happening and they just tell me to wear loose clothes. I do that for the most part, but I’d also like to be able to wear tank tops and more form-fitting clothes. I want to talk to them about it more but they just tell me that it’s not important. They don’t understand how much I hate my body, and whenever I try to explain, they just tell me that what I’m feeling isn’t valid. My mom is also worried about my health if I get a binder. Ive told her that I won’t wear it every day, and I’ve showed her stuff about binder safety but she just tells me it’s not my decision to make. I want to tell her that it’s my body and binding really shouldn’t be a big deal but I’m scared she’ll be mad or think that I’m being ungrateful. I really am trying to be patient and respectful but my dysphoria is getting the point where I won’t leave my bedroom because I can’t stand my chest. I’m sorry for venting for so long but can someone please give me advice on how to convince them?

    [Reply]

    Anonymous replied:

    The best thing to do would be to tell your parents about your dysphoria. Explain to them why you think a binder would help, and explain to them the mental effects this is causing you. If they still say no to a binder, you can try wearing multiple sports bras, just take the same precautions you would take with a binder.

    [Reply]

  13. skeptical

    I am the parent of a 13 year old biological girl who wants to get a binder. I support their exploration of their identity, but do not understand all the hatred they have for their body they were born with. It seems to be a rejection of femaleness, but only really what society values as feminine. I keep thinking their dysphoria is really their uncomfortableness with the unwanted sexual attention they now get from the gaze of men and seeing the sexism in society. I don’t blame them for not wanting to be those things they get signals that they are expected to be. I grew up in punk rock and knew many kids of all kinds gay/straigh/asexual/trans/whatever, and the labels NEVER mattered, it was the individual that counted. Those were my teenage years, that was a time of exploration. You feel like you know exactly who you are, but you are a kid. Teenagers have a tendency to make their identity created by what others perceive them as. Point is, punk rock taught me not to care what society thought of me, whether it accepted me and to be myself. I just feel they are following the trans identity because it gets them an escape hatch from being seen as a sexual object and it feels as much that they are conforming to a trend than being themselves. I think binding at 13 is affirming the trans identity too soon in a child’s life, if they have not been diagnosed with dysphoria from a doctor who isn’t biased towards affirmation. All the truly trans people will pobably think I’m transphobic or some nonsense, but binding has health consequences for a growing child and blind affirmation is not being a good parent.

    [Reply]

    Scarlett replied:

    Thank goodness, an actual adult commenting on this thread. I agree with you. My kid is 12. I say no to a binder. 12 is too young to know even what your preferences is in anything, and as a parent I am responsible for her now and her future. Im very empathic, and I do don’t want to be viewed as meannest mom ever. I will always act in the best interest of my children. My gut says, no to binding.

    [Reply]

    Anonymous replied:

    I identified as trans when I was 14-ish, and it ended up being a phase. At the time, I did think that what I was experiencing was dysphoria, and now I think I was just uncomfortable with my changing body. But regardless of what it really was, wearing a binder helped. When I realised I was wrong and didn’t need it anymore, I just stopped wearing it. Affirming a kid’s gender identity and helping them socially transition isn’t harmful. Worst case scenario, the kid is wrong and has to have a few awkward conversations to clear it up later on. Best case scenario, you’re supporting your trans kid and showing them that they’ll be accepted for who they are. What’s the harm in that?

    [Reply]

  14. Mum of 4

    Hi, to all parent whoes child has asked for a binder.
    Please be rest assured that your child had been thinking about it for a while, they\’ve researched about them, looked at the different ones on the internet, if they\’ve got someone to confide in it would of been discussed many times, they would of done all of this and more before asking you for one. So please don\’t just dismiss the idea, research as much as you can, email different companies for advise, get them one, set some rules and support them help them to be open with you . Teens/tweens can be very resourceful, they will bind without telling you which probably not done properly would be health damaging, they will be secretive and wouldn\’t feel they can be open to you about other things/issues.
    I had already researched binders before G my 12 year old asked for one, I could see how G was trying to hide their chest, hunched over, rounding the shoulders and affecting self confidence, I was going to ask G if they\’ve thought about binding so I had no problem getting one and setting rules about when and how long it\’s worn for. G\’s walking tall now and self confidence is back. Getting a binder has been a positive decision in G\’s journey in life. So please don\’t dismiss, research and consider it.

    [Reply]


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