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This sex shop offers safe binder exchange for trans and non-binary people

Lily Wakefield July 22, 2019
binder exchange program.

The sex shop in Ontario, Canada, offers a binder exchange program.

A Canadian sex shop is offering a binder exchange programme to help trans and non-binary people bind safely and affordably.

Binding is a way reduce the appearance of breasts, which can be used by transgender and non-binary people to help relieve gender dysphoria.

However, not all trans and non-binary people bind, and not all people that bind are trans or non-binary.

Spot of Delight in London, Ontario, started the exchange programme two years ago and has held five binder exchange parties.

The exchange programme works by having customers drop off new or gently used chest binders to the store during business hours, for which they receive a $10 gift voucher.

Those requiring a binder can put their name on a waiting list, and when one is donated in the right size they will be given it for free.

Jess Rueger, the community development coordinator for the store, told local news outlet CBC: “It began out of need.

“At that point, we were assisting people in need by giving discounts where necessary and then we saw an obvious need to start a program that would accommodate people who needed accommodation, but with some more support from the community in the form of donating old or used binders.”

Rueger said of the binder exchange parties: “We connect them with community professionals who can refer to resources. We also connect them with peers who have lived experience with chest binding.”

Trans guy Ray and Nneka, who is non-binary, share their experiences of wearing a binder (PinkNews)
How to wear a binder: A guide by transgender and non-binary activists, a video produced by PinkNews. (PinkNews)

Binders are often too expensive to be accessible to everyone that needs one

Victor Feunekes, who works as a systems navigator for the London InterCommunity Health Centre, said that binders are often too expensive to be accessible to everyone that needs one.

They said: “I remember paying around $50 to $75 for mine. It can add up, they’re pretty expensive and if people don’t have binders available, then it’s more likely they’ll resort to a lot less safe binding methods like bandages.”

The LGBT Foundation previously told PinkNews: “If not used correctly, a binder can cause back problems, restrict breathing or blood flow, and even crack ribs.”

Safety guidelines suggested by the foundation include purchasing a binder of the right size from a reputable source, not wearing the binder for more than eight to 10 hours a day and not double-binding (wearing two binders over the top of each other.)

PinkNews produced a video on using a binder safely, based on advice from the LGBT Foundation:

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