Gender Affirming Gear
If you choose to wear Gender Affirming Gear there are some health considerations to think about because being safe while being comfortable is important! Gender affirming gear can be expensive, so if finances are a barrier for you there may be local organizations that provide programs and support. Contact your local Pride Centre for more information
Please note when exploring external resources please be aware that many of the services linked to gender affirmation gear also provide education and gear related to sexual health.
Your Primary Care Provider may ask you questions about the gender affirming gear you wear and may also want to know about any negative health outcomes you may be experiencing. It’s important to be aware of what your body may experience and when you should be connecting with your Primary Care Provider. Below are 2 examples of gender affirming gear but many others do exist:
Binding involves wearing tight garments to flatten out your chest. It’s a do-it-yourself option for changing your appearance so that it matches your gender expression. You may bind to feel more at ease in your body, feel more comfortable in your clothing or help others read your gender correctly.
To avoid negative health outcomes from binding you can try binding for shorter periods of time (no more than 8 hours per day), finding looser alternatives such as a well fitting bra or medical compression shirt and taking time off binding if possible. It is not recommended to use things such as duct tape or medical tape to bind your chest.
Contact your Primary Care Provider if you experience pain, difficulty breathing, ongoing tingling/numbness, skin rash, or sores. You can find more information on this topic by visiting our Binding
Tucking involves hiding external genitalia so that they are not visible in tight clothing. Tucking is a do-it-yourself option for changing your appearance so that it matches your gender expression. You might tuck to feel more at ease in your body, to feel more comfortable in your clothing, or to help others read your gender correctly.
To avoid negative health outcomes from tucking you can try tucking for shorter periods of time, switching between different methods of tucking and staying hydrated.
Contact your Primary Care Provider if you experience aching, tingling or numbness that continues even when you aren’t tucking; blood in urine or orgasmic fluid; a feeling of inflammation or infection inside the genitals; skin rash or sores; pain with urination; or pain in the bladder or lower back.
Pads and breast forms
Pads and breast forms are often used to achieve the appearance of a fuller chest. An alternative, especially for those with some chest or breast tissue protruding already, might be padded bras. QMunity’s “I Heart My Chest” includes advice for matching your bra and chest size to your body.
Hair removal can be done at home, or professionally to different parts of the body to achieve the kinds of gender expression you feel best with. Some kinds of hair removal are temporary, while others are more permanent. The kind of hair removal you choose will depend largely on your budget, level of comfort, hair type, and area for removal. Please discuss further with the healthcare provider you feel most comfortable exploring this with if you have questions or are unsure about how to approach hair removal.
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