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Non-binary model Rain Dove has moving conversation with parent whose child asked for a binder for Christmas

Vic Parsons December 3, 2019
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Rain Dove

Non-binary model Rain Dove in New York, 2015. (Mireya Acierto/FilmMagic)

Model, activist and actor Rain Dove had a powerful and moving conversation about acceptance with a parent whose child asked for a binder for Christmas.

Rain Dove, who is non-binary, said their own experience had taught them that binding with alternative materials was a “dangerous thing” and emphasised the importance of using a professionally made binder.

On Instagram, they shared a conversation they’d had with a parent whose child had asked for a binder for Christmas.

“My child is sick due to you,” the parent wrote.

“Oh no! Did I give them the flu?” Rain Dove asked.

“No mental problems she wants to be a boy… she asked for a strap thing for her chest for Christmas,” the parent said.

Rain Dove responded: “How are you feeling about it? Does it feel a bit heavy?”

Over the course of the conversation, Rain Dove repeatedly empathises with the parent while emphasising that the fact their child has been open with them about wanting a binder is something special.

“I told my Sammy she could tell me anything,” the parent writes, which Rain Dove responds to with: “That’s beautiful. And Sammy did!”

The conversation then shifts, from the parent flat-out refusing to consider buying their child a binder to asking whether it would hurt and whether they can come back to Rain Dove with more questions if they have them.

“Always!” Rain Dove says. “The key is that there is a safe space for you to find how to make a safe space for Sammy. I’ll help as much as I can because I know you care so much!”

“I’m doing research on the bindings will chat later. Thank you very much for talking me through without being angry I want her to live a life she loves that’s all,” Sammy’s parent ends the conversation.


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Parents I promise that a professional binder is a safer option for your teen than alternatives they might be using. Getting them one as a gift can be life saving. A great brand and resource is @gc2b they even recently gave me a whole box to donate when in SA. Amazing conscientious and involved company. Binding ones chest can be a dangerous thing- especially when using alternative options like I used to do. Ace bandage and ducttape lead to skin tearing, fractured ribs and I even passed out once after taking off the binding from the oxygen rushing into my system again. I have models I’ve worked with who will testify times in which they saw my body distorted after inappropriate binding practices. People bind for many reasons. It’s not always identity or dysphoria related. Especially people with larger breasts have expressed binding has been lifesaving in functional terms. Binding CAN be lifesaving and ease much anxiety. I must note that it alone won’t make someone feel complete in their existence. We must work to dismantle toxic oppressions that lead to social oppressions and anxieties. We must create a space of love for all people to live in no matter their bodies. We must create a safe space for dialogue. #LoveWins #noteasybutworthit #nonbinary #memes #educatedonthate #binding #lgbtq #genderfluid #trans #lovewins #grsm NOTE: Sammys parent gave me permission to post this convo! Always important to make sure You have permission! The photo is not their real face.

A post shared by Rain Dove (@raindovemodel) on

In response to the shared conversation, people praised Rain Dove for the way they handled the conversation with “love, validation and understanding”.

“You’re so good at helping these people who are so angry with you (their situation) and reacting with love and understanding. It’s a real gift and so lovely to see. I wish more people, including me, were able to do this,” one person wrote.

Rain Dove confirmed in their Instagram caption that the parent of Sammy had given their permission for the conversation to be shared, and that the photo on the messages was not their real face.

Related topics: binder, binding, rain dove

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