A journey to San Francisco to become no less than Me. (BLOG REBOOT: Former site of Hairy Legs.)

I wore binding out for the fourth day in a row today.

What sucks:
– I need a REAL compression shirt of some sort.
– I currently use 6″ ace bandages, which have always worked in a pinch, but obviously not a good idea for every day wear.
– I took them off halfway through the day and noticed a weird purplish coloring, which ironically brought the “tumor” analogy closer to life. Chest bruises = not fun.
– But weirdly enough and even MORE ironically, my friend said that she heard that if you bind enough and cause enough bruises in your chest area, it can cause breast cancer (which kind of has the ring of an urban myth, but you can never be too sure.)

What’s (kind of) awesome:
– My technique has been getting better and it never really has that lumpy look anymore.
– I’m getting better at not noticing the pain until I’ve been in binding for 10+ hours.

Yeah.  It’s pretty obvious the pros are overshadowed by the cons.  Any list that has “but I’m getting better at ignoring the pain” as a positive point is pretty much the sign of a losing battle.

So, I just went to check out the Big Brothers Used Binder program.  I’ve ultimately decided I’m going to have to go on ahead and buy one instead of try to get one through the program.  Let’s face it, I may only make $200 a month, and that may be difficult to try and live on, but I’ve got a place to go at night, I’ve got a somewhat supportive parent, I’ve got food stamps… and to put the icing on the cake, I just blew $100 going to San Francisco a couple weeks ago.  The site said you can actually order a binder for as little as about $20, which I consider far worth it, even if it means I’m going to have to put off getting my car fixed for a little longer.  I’d just feel dirty and awful if I tried to go through Big Brothers.  But they’re an awesome program if you’re really falling on hard times.

Looks like, till I scrounge up the means to get my own, I’m going to be dealing with the Ace Horror for a little while.

In other news, I had my first real fight with someone over my trans issues today.  I was just trying to figure out something for my best friend to call me, because my birth name has been really getting under my skin lately, and I was trying to go easy on her and not make her call me something that would be “hard” for her, or whatever, because it’s so FUCKING hard for everyone else when us transpeople go through this… okay, I’m settling down now.

Anyway, it seemed like one of those rare things she might have a little fun with, something she could join me in and get really excited about- “YOU get to help me pick my new name, I’m trusting YOU with this,” you know?  But just like with anything else I brought up that was trans-related, she got so quiet and distant, offering only the occasional monosyllabic response.  It bothered me.  I had no idea what she was thinking- whether she hated me, whether she had no opinion, whether she thought her opinions were stupid, whether she was completely uninterested, whether she just wanted to change the subject, I had NOTHING to go on.  I’d actually been trying to stifle myself somewhat about it all, only bringing up the things that struck me as positive or funny and not really laying the issue on anyone else, but she finally blew up at me after I questioned why she always got so clammed up whenever I brought up anything.   Apparently, it’s all I’ve been talking about, 24-7, forever… Okay, now I’M exaggerating on HER exaggeration out of bitterness.  But it’s how I feel about that accusation.  Don’t we do other shit together?

I don’t know what to do.  Am I just supposed to shut it away and pretend none of this is happening?  Let her call me a name that feels like a searing hot poker in my skull every time I hear it?  Never bring up any of my current issues, no matter how relevant, awesome, or painfully lonely any of it is to go through?  This is what is going on with me, right now, and if she doesn’t want to hear it, then it’s a choice between not being with her or self-censorship.  I don’t want to make that choice, but apparently it is SO FUCKING HARD for her to see me try and figure out who the fuck I am, as long as it doesn’t comply with what she thought.  I mean, I can’t believe how hard it is for someone to use a different pronoun, or a different name, or just to accept that I can’t be in fucking public and feel like a human being if people can see these… THINGS on my chest!  I’m making myself so vulnerable to her and letting her in on all this, and she can’t see anything but how hard it is for HER to deal with any of this.

God, I can’t believe how angry I am about this.  Sometimes I feel like if I threw myself into a vat of acid and came out an unrecognizable creature, or cut and mutilated my face and chest and anything that can be seen as female on me, or even just killed myself, I’d feel free from this …thing that tortures me.  I’m crawling out of my skin day and night, but it’s SO FUCKING HARD for other people to use a different name, just to relieve a little bit of this hell I’m living in.  My message to the world:  Oblige me for five fucking seconds out of your selfish life, you assholes, and I might not hang myself when I go home tonight.

Comments on: "Chest bruising and angry ranting." (10)

  1. Please please PLEASE don’t wear Ace. We know somebody who broke ribs with that thing, and you’re already getting used to ignoring pain. Breast cancer, I have no idea, but you CAN break ribs.

    It’s too bad we already sold ours. Because Ace bandages are seriously bad news. Please try and get a decent binder ASAP. Underworks also is well-rated; it’s what we used to use. http://www.underworks.com/996.html

    • joaquinjack said:

      Actually, that’s the site Big Brother said you could order said $20 binder on. I plan on it with my next paycheck. This would all be easier if I didn’t get paid in cash…

      • Phew, good. Sorry to pull the PSA on you, but Ace is one of those things that brings out an arm-flail and “NOOOOO!” from us.


  2. joaquinjack said:

    Well, it’s getting seriously irritating and almost not worth it already. My back is screwed already just from wearing Ace all last week, but the consequence of not wearing Ace is being totally self-conscious whenever I go out or avoiding going out at all, so it’s all a lose-lose situation. I’ve got a compromise- wearing an old sports bra, which reigns them in minimally, so while it’s obvious they’re still there, at least they don’t stand out. But it’s not going to work for long. I HAVE to set some money aside and get a proper binder, SOON.

  3. It’s sort of an interesting reverse for me. I hate being IDed as female, but the physical discomfort of binding makes me feel much more self-conscious when I do it. I feel like I’m faking… even though god knows I don’t WANT the damn things. That said, I’ve been debating on whether to get one again.

    Good luck on getting the decent binder.


  4. findingzack said:

    I gotta agree with avoiding Ace…while you still use them try not to bind any more than you must — when you get back home I suggest removing it. Not that I can really talk, as I now never take off my binder, but…For your health I suggest making it a high priority.

    My parents and friends commented on how trans-issues were all I talked about for a few months. After a while it died down and now I talk about it much less. I’ve heard of that happening with other transfolk too, you might tell your best friend that since your just transition it’s on you mind a lot. It’s a big issue, I hope she comes around to support you more. D=

    I know it’s hard and it sucks, but try not to lose hope okay? Things get better. =3 (I know, that sounds so impersonal, but from what I’ve experienced thus far it HAS.)

  5. joaquinjack said:

    She has, actually. I’m settling down alot- I hate having to self-censor, but I realize that a lot of people just don’t want to hear about it, just like people don’t want to hear about their Uncle Fred’s bowel movements. It’s deeply personal and I’ve started treating it that way.

  6. I realize it’s been quite a while since this post got wrote, but I just wanted to vouch for http://www.underworks.com/988.html. It’s the binder I’ve been using for about a month now and I really like it. Yes, it’s $40 but it gets my normally nearly-Ds down to around an A. It’s not perfect, but it definitely looks good to me and is super-comfy. I wear mine everyday and have no bruising or anything!

    (sorry if this is TMI but I guess I felt like sharing..? Gotta help out members of the tribe n all that goodness.)

    • joaquinjack said:

      Not at all, the more information being shared, the better. The only thing that really turns me away from this is the price tag. I still have a lot of things I need to take care of monetarily and the idea of coughing up 40$ for something that isn’t necessarily life-or-death seems a little ridiculous right now.

      But I am wondering if spending less on something not as high quality now will be a waste of money in the long run if it doesn’t work out. Choices, choices…

  7. Mhmm. I was super nervous buying it as it was my first binder and I didn’t want to shell out a lot of money for something that might not work, or when I wasn’t sure how it’d fit into my life exactly. I didn’t plan on wearing it every day necessarily.

    But I feel like my binder is going to be with me for a long time so I want to be able to wear it with pride. Of course you should do whatever’s right for you but I found the price to be something I just had to deal with. Keep us up to date! I know the posts I wrote about first getting my binder were some of my happiest. Haha, I was so excited that I had to limit myself from writing post after post. I think I ended up doing only 3..

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