Parents of teen girls, are you under the mistaken and old-fashioned impression that your parenting opinions should be respected by other adults when it comes to how your children are raised? Do you have the outmoded idea that you should have any input at all into decisions that might have an impact on the physical health and wellbeing of your offspring?
You’re behind the times, mom and dad. Didn’t you know there is a network of organizations, run by well-meaning, unbiased adults who only have your child’s best interests at heart? These people know more about what’s good for your daughter—I mean, son–than you do. Step right up, because I’ve got some news for you.
When teen girls go online and wander into the lair of FTM transitioners, one of the biggest topics of discussion is breast binders. Despite how uncomfortable and frankly dangerous to health they are, and despite the fact that breast tissue is not a cancer or wart to be done away with, but a vital aspect of a female’s body, no dysphoric teen would be without a breast binder, to hear it from their promoters.
One of the biggest binder pushers is an organization called TransActive Gender Center, which (among many other things) is in the business of sending out free binders to minor girls who can’t get their skeptical parents to jump on board the transition train.
Because of the excellent sleuthing work done by the intrepid GallusMag and others over at GenderTrender, the shady practices of this organization are coming to light. The Executive Director of TransActive, an MTF by the name of Jenn Burleton, came under quite a bit of heat in a comment thread recently for misrepresentations about the nature of this “non-profit” organization. It’s worth perusing the whole thread here: https://gendertrender.wordpress.com/2015/05/06/transgender-activists-campaign-against-puberty-blockers-for-transgender-children
In the thread, GallusMag sums up their “In a Bind” program for us:
^^^ Jenn Burleton is king of the munchausen mommies at TransActive, a transgendering children political lobbying group. He is also responsible for a program called “In A Bind”, which sends “Chest Binders” out to children in unmarked packages so that the children can compress their rib cages and crush their pubescent breast tissue. The practice is considered dangerous or even life threatening, which is why many otherwise supportive parents forbid it. Jenn’s service is designed to bypass parental consent by providing the chest compression devices directly to children in secrecy.
How difficult is it for a child to qualify for one of these free binders? It’s easy as can be.
All of our binders are sent to youth ages 21 and younger. If you are 22 or older, please do not fill out an application.
Our binders go to people based on demonstration of actual need. ‘Need’ may be financial (can’t afford a new binder) or circumstantial (living with unsupportive parents). Please understand that we are a non-profit trying to help as many youth as possible. Please be honest with yourself and In a Bind when demonstrating need.
The “unsupportive parent” who might just have a few concerns about this in 2015 is the child abuser of yesteryear. Get with the program, you useless parents! (As an aside, I’ve been called a “child abuser” and told “I hope you die” multiple times by online strangers, typically childless, who fancy themselves parenting experts, because I dare to write this blog and have meaningful conversations with my own child about these matters.)
Are there any dangers to this practice of crushing pubescent breast tissue in a corset-like vice? Well, there are a few hazards, but they’re worth it! After all, gender dysphoria is the real deal, and any delay in folding, spindling, or mutilating healthy body parts is—well, it’s child abuse.
Yesterday, the blogger Stoptranschauvinism shared this helpful information about the dangers of breast binding from the McLean FTM top surgery clinic in Canada. The clinic specializes in top surgery. Hm. Wonder if they might have a reason to be publicizing this information? Nah. They’re just providing a public service.
From McLean clinic:
The following are some symptoms you should look out for:
- Loss of breath
- Back pain throughout the back or shoulders
- Increased pain or pressure with deep breaths
Since chest binding can lead to fractured ribs, this can increase the risk of puncturing or collapsing a lung. This happens when a broken rib punctures the lung, causing serious health issues.
Once the lung is punctured, it has a higher risk of collapsing because air can fill the spaces around the lungs and chest.
If you bind your chest too tightly then it can cause serious back issues by compressing the spine, which is part of your central nervous system. The spine controls many functions, and you need to be very careful when doing anything that may cause damage.
Back pain from chest binding can also be an indication that a lung has been injured. If the pain is coming from the upper back or shoulder, consult with a doctor for further examination to ensure proper lung health.
And the piece de resistance from McLean:
Fractured ribs, damaged blood vessels, or punctured lungs can cause difficulties down the line and may stop you from being able to move forward with surgery. Keeping these issues in mind will allow you get the most out of using chest binding.
…until the day Dr. McLean liberates you (and some of the funds in your bank account) to feel like this handsome, Zen-like fella:
But don’t take it from the unbiased McLean clinic. How about hearing directly from FTMs who use these devices? The Internet is full of binder horror stories (Truth About Transition would be a good place to start), and a quick YouTube search will turn up many such stories. Try a video search for “binding injury.”
So take heart, parents! Your son is in good hands with the likes of the TransActive Gender Clinic and, later (as soon as possible!) “renowned plastic surgeons.”