I was doing my usual browsing of Facebook today, and a person from my CrossFit gym posted this link. They posted it with a caption that says, “Who needs CrossFit?” I agree that it’s silly, and it’s better to just workout to get the shape you want; however, I recognize that is easier said than done, as is the case for the trans man who doesn’t plan on taking hormones at all, pre-T, or the beginning of medically transitioning.
With that being said, I did some Google searches to see if any trans guys had tried out these shirts, but it was fruitless. I’m tempted to get one to see how it looks. I’m pretty self-conscious about my binder being visible underneath my t-shirt. But, if this is layered over the binder, maybe I’d feel less self-conscious of how odd my chest must look to other people. I like wearing shirts that fit, but since I’ve started binding, I find myself less than comfortable in anything that might remotely show the shape of the binder. Maybe for some small chested guys, they could wear this in lieu of binding.
Any thoughts on this muscle shirt?
I thought it was pretty awesome when I first got my binders. I got two binders, both in the same style. but different colors. I would fasten all the fasteners and then pull it on as you would a t-shirt. It was amazing how it felt wearing the binders. That feeling has worn off as time has passed. Now, the binders are more of a nuisance. I honestly wouldn’t even both wearing them anymore, but the more I physically change, the more self-conscious I feel about my chest. It’s probably because I care too much about what other people think of me; this dude who is just sprouting facial hair, gaining muscle mass, and voice is deepening is walking around with size C breasts when not binding. It’s awkward, for me at least. I’m not sure what other people think or if they even notice, but the only thing I can think about is trying to hide them when I’m not binding.
This is where my problem comes in. I’ve been gaining a lot of muscle since I started testosterone and ramping up my workouts, so much so that it’s nearly impossible to get into one of my binders. (I have two binders which are the same size, but one is significantly smaller for some reason). Once I get the damned thing on, the sweating begins. Not only is it just annoying to be sweaty while binding, it makes it feel like it’s digging into my skin. Not to mention, no matter how much I try to adjust the breasts underneath the binder, it definitely doesn’t look like a male chest to me. At the end of the day, I come home and take my binder off, which can take me 5 minutes or more. I struggle so much that I’ve come to the point several times now that I’ve been about 2 seconds away from grabbing scissors and cutting it off.
I’d buy another one, but I’m worried that in another couple of minutes, I’ll just run into the same problem. I’m not sure which is more uncomfortable… the physical discomfort of the binder or the mental discomfort of having a visibly female-bodied chest.
Oh how I can’t wait until next summer when I can take enough time off to recover from top surgery.
And it’s only Tuesday.
Sunday morning, I woke up in a sweat, with a huge headache, and my while body was achy. I got up to take my pup out and was pouring sweat after walking about 50 feet. I also had a case of mild diarrhea throughout the day. Needless to say, I mostly just sat in my chair or laid in my bed for most of the day. I didn’t even have food to eat except for a couple of eggs, zucchini, and rice; so I had to force myself to shower and venture to the store for food. It probably took me twice as long as usual to get my weekly groceries since my whole back was aching and I was extremely hot and sweaty. I felt bad for not taking the pup out for our usual walks, but I just couldn’t mystery up the energy.
I woke up yesterday (Monday) morning with more mild symptoms of the previous day, but decided to take the day off of work since walking was still a pretty difficult task. I’m pretty convinced this is a result of a crappy cheeseburger I had from Dave and Buster’s while hanging out with a couple of friends for the day. The thought of that cheeseburger makes me feel gross inside, and it’s days later now. After two days of sitting around, I was getting pretty bored. I managed to give the pup a bath and take him on our usual walks, at least.
I was cleaning up my mess from dinner and in the process of making myself some tea when I spilled scalding hot water on my hand. My immediate reaction was to turn on the facet and run cold water over my hand. I somehow managed to move myself to the bathroom sink through the intense burning. I couldn’t take my hand out of water without bring in an extreme amount of pain. My skin had blistered and was peeling off. I ran to my laptop and brought it to the bathroom so I could google first aid techniques. I also managed to reach the medicine cabinet that was just within reach with some fancy stretching to grab some Advil. I must have been standing there for thirty minutes, then I read that you shouldn’t soak your burn for more than half an hour or else it will feel worse when you take it out. I took my hand out of the water despite the pain and swung it around to let the cool air run past it. Of course, my dog was staring at me the whole time wagging his tail, thinking it was time to play. I was sitting there worried that I wouldn’t be able to sleep asst a reasonable time to go to work in the morning. And how was I going to ride my bike if I could barely grip the handlebars? Oh, and this is going to seriously hinder my ability to work out. I’m going to loose all my muscle mass that I worked so hard to build!
Finally, by 8:30 or so, the pain subsided to a bearable level. Maybe the Advil had finally kicked in. I quickly took a shower and went to bed. I went to work for an hour this morning, basically waiting for student health to open. I got some ointment and a tetanus shot while I was there. I guess the good news is that I’m not feeling sick anymore. Though, I’m not sure how I will be able to do any work this week since I work in a research lab. I don’t even know if the large gloves will fit over the bandages or how well I’ll be to pipette with my middle and ring finger basically unable to bend.
Another concern of my mine is that I will not be able to wear my binder since it will be near impossible for me to get it on and off without being able to use both of my hands. It’s hard enough getting the rest of my clothes on at the moment. Blah, I guess I’ll be wearing t-shirts a size too large until my hand heals enough.
I finally got to use my new swim binder today. Alex and I were planning on doing stand up paddleboarding today, but parking can be quite horrendous at beaches down here on holiday weekends. So, we just went to a different beach and went swimming instead. Anyway, I got some new board shorts and a rash guard to go over my new swim binder and shorts from Underworks. It worked out pretty nicely, I think. The only thing I think is kind of weird is the zipper in the front which can be seen in the second picture in this post, but it’s not too noticeable.
I took photos in our bathroom/bedroom when we got home to show off. One day, I’ll try to do a comparison of with and without the binder to show the difference.
I went to a local restaurant/brewery today to celebrate my graduation that happened a couple of weeks ago. I ordered a beer since we were at a brewery. The waitress asked for my ID and looks at, then looks back at me. I smiled at her, and she days to me, “You cut your hair?” Really? It’s pretty obvious my hair is shorter than my ID picture. I’m pretty sure she thought my ID didn’t belong to me. But why would any guy get a fake ID that had a female name and gender marker? I have to admit though, it was kind of nice having someone doubt I was female. So far in my transition, I’m consistently identified as female, or people avoid using any sort of gendered words. Next week, after my court hearing, I plan to head straight to the DMV to get a new ID.
In other news, I got my binder for swimming from Underworks today. I’m looking forward to trying that out. I tried it out, and the compression seems pretty good. I’m interested to see what it’s like when wet and after a bit of use.
Here I am sitting at the beach waiting for my car to be serviced. I just wish I could take off my shirt (in this case, it’s actually a binder) and go for a swim. I suppose I’m lucky in a way because it’s not unusual to see guys in board shorts and a rash guard or a wetsuit, since the water it’s do cold here. I don’t really swim in pools, otherwise that would probably be kind of weird. I tried on my rash guard yesterday, though, and I’ll have to get a new one because mine was super tight. I think I’ve gotten bigger, but also I’m pretty sure it’s made for girls.
Anyway, this picture makes me think my shoulders are getting broader, but it’s hard to tell since I don’t really take pictures from this angle.
I’m pretty self-conscious about the binder, always trying to make sure it’s flat and can’t be seen under my shirt. I’m sure trying to swim with it is just going to make that situation worse, but swimming and water sports are probably my favorite activities, just behind snowboarding, of course. I really hope by this time next year, I will have my top surgery complete. I will probably be topless as much as possible. I would be now too, if it were socially acceptable.
Anyway, I’ve seen a few blogs about swimming and transmen lately, but all the solutions seem just mediocre to me. I know I can’t have it all right now, but I feel like there must be a better way.