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Advocacy & Programs → LGBTQ+ → Binder program Binders can help set you free.

Be comfortable while being you.

Chest binders are special clothing that compress chest tissue to create the appearance of a flat chest. For some trans and non-binary people, binding can reduce gender dysphoria and improve emotional well-being. Over the last several years, HCAI has provided free chest binders to hundreds of LGBTQ+ youth – and we're here to help you too.

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Binder Do's and Don’ts


  • Consult with your family and your health care provider before making the decision to use a chest binder.  

  • Contact your health care provider if you have any questions regarding the use of a binder or experience any symptoms while binding. 

  • Measure yourself for the correct binder size and get one that’s not too small or large. 

  • Listen to your body – a binder should never cause pain or discomfort, labor your breathing, dig into your skin, or cause tingling or numbness. If it does, take it off immediately and get a bigger size.  

  • Take off your binder often. We recommend taking a binding break two days a week to let your body rest and recover.  

  • Stretch often, take hot showers, and massage your neck and shoulders to relieve the stress of binding.  

  • Remeasure yourself often (two to four times a year) to make sure your binder is still the right size for you.  

  • Wear a binder that is one size larger than your typical size if you are planning to engage in any sustained physical activity while binding. 

  • Hand wash your binder every two to three days, and immediately after any physical activity or swimming. Wash in cold water, gentle cycle, tumble dry low or lay flat to dry. 



  • Bind for more than six to eight hours a day. 

  • Wear your binder seven days a week. 

  • Wear your binder more than one week without washing. 

  • Wear your binder while you sleep. 

  • Bind with more than one binder or binding option. Your binder should be your only layer of compression.  

  • Bind your chest with Ace bandages or Duct Tape. If you don’t have any other option, do it over a t-shirt. 

  • Bleach or iron your binder. 

BINDER PROGRAM Authentic expression starts with a conversation.

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