Isn’t it annoying when you try to find something that can keep your dysphoria at bay, but end up not finding anything suitable for you? Chest Binders are the cohesive armour that is a life saving instrument for trans-men going through dysphoria. Chest binders help them keeping the appearance that a Trans Man’s chest is flat.
In India, however, Binders are difficult to find. Access and availability aside, it is also extremely pricey and not affordable for everyone. This is because there are not a lot of companies that are engaged in making binders specific to the Indian subcontinent and importing a binder costs a lot of money.
Binders have become more and more accessible these days, here is a comprehensive list of the binders that you can depend on.
1) GC2B https://www.gc2b.co/
GC2B is a trans owned and operated company based in Maryland, USA that provides safe binding options for people with chest dysphoria. Currently, their binders are considered the best in terms of quality and price range as well, and so they are highly recommended. Their binders are available in various colours- white, grey, black, red, blue, olive green, and 5 nude colour options.
Their half binders cost $33 USD and full tank binders cost $35 USD + shipping rates ($11.25 USD -first class- 2-4 weeks) & ($24 USD – priority mail-6-16 days), which comes out to be approximately Rs. 3,000-4,000 INR depending on the option you are choosing.
2) UNDERWORKS http://www.underworks.com/men-compression-shirts
Underworks is a company based in the USA that sells compression products, however their compression shirts are aimed towards cis men with gynecomastia and not specifically trans men. Their binders are available in white, beige and black colour.
The cost again comes out to be around Rs.4,000 INR
3) FLAVNT STREETWEAR http://www.flavnt.com/bareskin/
A Trans owned company that offers 4 nude coloured binders, with athletic design, each of which is priced at $50 USD. 15% of your purchase goes towards raising a fund for the top surgery of a trans man.
International shipping cost $15 USD extra so the price of one binder comes at Rs. 4,250 INR.
4) SPECTRUM OUTFITTERS https://www.spectrumoutfitters.co.uk/shop
Spectrum is a new company based in the UK. It also makes chest binders specifically for Transgender people with chest dysphoria. They offer binders in white, black, grey and green colour in tri-top design as of now, each of which is priced at £35 and with £5 shipping to India, the total cost comes out to be under Rs. 4,000.
5) PEECOCK PRODUCTS https://peecockproducts.com/binder
Peecock products offers a lot of products for trans men, not just binders. It is a Singapore based company. They have mid-length binders with Velcro, buckle and zip fasteners in black and white colour. Prices vary from product to product, but in general it comes out to be between Rs 2,000-3,000 including shipping.
6) SHAPESHIFTERS https://www.shapeshifters.co/crop-top/
If you are tired of solid black and white binders, you can check out Shapeshifters. They offer custom made designs and fastenings. However, the price ranges from $45- $80 USD and it involves a long waiting time as well.
You can also consider the chest binders offered by T-kingdom http://www.t-kingdom.com/index.php/product which is a Taiwan based company and Danaë https://www.danae.info/en/female-male/tops which is based in Netherlands.
Apart from these, there are a some options available on Amazon as well that you may check out.
Amazon Binders https://www.amazon.com/Chest-binder/s?k=Chest+binder
There are many varieties of binders available on Amazon and most of them come with the information as to where it ships to as well as where one could find the reviews for them.
However, remember that buying binders online may sometimes contain hidden import fee so be prepared for that too.
If you don’t want to order your binder online, there’s also an option of getting a custom made binder for yourself right here in India. There’s a company called Norma Pvt. Ltd. which designs compression garments for medical purposes. However, you can also ask them to make a custom chest binder for you. You’ll have to contact them on their contact number which you can get by a simple google search and then a representative will come to your place to take your measurements. The price usually ranges between Rs. 3,000-4,000.
But in case, these binders cost a lot and are going to burn a hole in your pocket there are easier more affordable ways that you can use to keep away your dysphoria.
Alternatives for Commercial Binders ( Desi Jugaad)
These are the rudimentary of layering, they are easily available and usually aren’t that pricey. If you are trying to save up for top surgery and find that medium compression sports bra are helpful in the meanwhile, then they can be used.
A common DIY binder can be made by using a size or two small tank top and getting it stitched from the sides to give yourself the desired compression. Or you may simply fold it up to make your chest appear flat.
Giveaways and other sources
- On the first of every month, YouTuber and Trans Activist Chase Ross does an international giveaway of 30 GC2B binders. Here’s the link to his YouTube channel- https://www.youtube.com/user/uppercaseCHASE1
You can also use his discount code- UPPERCASECHASE on GC2B on checkout to get 10% off.
- MORF is based in Manchester, UK. They run a binder exchange scheme where donated binders are provided to people in need all over the world. However, one has to pay for the postage.
- Local Support Groups are also instrumental here, you should always keep in touch with them just to keep tabs on if and when they would have binders on
Even though it is a taxing process, getting a binder is absolutely worth it. The links above would lead you to good binders that you can use to make sense of your dysphoria.