Thursday 14 July marks International Non-Binary People’s Day 2022
BY ELEANOR NOYCE, IMAGES VIA THE GENDER SPECTRUM COLLECTION/ZACHARY DRUCKER/PEXELS
With temperatures expected to reach highs of between 36 and a scorching 43 (yes, you read that correctly!) degrees Celsius on Sunday 17 July, it’s safe to say that this absolute scorcher of a British summer isn’t going anywhere just yet. We all love a bit of vitamin D, but the heat can pose challenges for trans masc and non-binary people facing gender dysphoria, as well as those that might struggle with their wider body image. So, here’s the essential guide on staying safe and comfortable during the summer. Let’s go!
Don’t bind using bandages or duct tape – this can be very dangerous!
Don’t be fooled – using bandages or duct tape to bind won’t save you from a few beads of sweat. In fact, it’s never advisable to bind using these materials as it can be very dangerous. If you’re struggling to afford a binder – and the best ones can get pricey – then companies like Spectrum Outfitters, Binder Scheme and Gender GP offer up free, used binders to those in need.
Don’t wear your binder for more than eight hours at a time
This is another evergreen rule. Binders can impact your breathing and constrict your ribs, so if you feel breathless, take a break from the binder. If this is a recurring problem, check to make sure you’re wearing the right size. Loose-fitting, oversized shirts can ease chest-based gender dysphoria if you need to take a break during the heat.
If the binder gets too much, swap it out for a sports bra
Sports bras are designed to accommodate during the heat, so if you need to take a break from the bind, try a gender-neutral sports bra instead. Bras with structure and double layers are good for compression, as well as those with lots of structure. Crop top bras provide excellent chest-flattening coverage, too, whilst avoiding enhancing the area.
Apply deodorant under your binder to reduce sweat
This one’s pretty simple. Get that deodorant going!
Before putting on your binder, talc up using a bit of baby powder. This will allow your skin to absorb the sweat so you don’t feel uncomfortable.
Swimming? Check that your binder is waterproof before dipping in!
Not all binders accommodate water. When a binder gets wet, the elasticity of the fabric drastically reduces, so you’re at greater risk of injuring yourself or experiencing breathing issues. Luckily, Both& Apparel has launched a range of new swimwear products for trans masc and non-binary people guaranteed to exacerbate those hot trans summer, gender euphoric feels.
Don’t wear your binder whilst flying!
Off on your summer hols? Not everyone is aware of this, but it’s very unsafe to wear a binder whilst flying. The high altitudes mean that the lungs and ribs expand, so if you’re wearing a binder, this could cause breathing issues. Opt for the sports bra, if possible, and if you’re feeling self-conscious about your chest then always layer on the patterns. Bright and funky combinations are very good at confusing the eye, and they’ll likely make your chest appear a little flatter if you’re feel self-conscious. Don’t sweat it (literally!).
And finally, here’s the obvious one: stay hydrated, wear suncream and keep out of the heat, particularly if you’re on meds
We know, we know. These are fairly obvious tips that everyone should listen to, but please stay hydrated, wear suncream and seek that shade wherever you can find it. The heat reaches its peak in the afternoon, so try to avoid it when the temperatures reach those all-time highs. Hydration is also particularly important for those on anti-depressants such as sertraline – these drugs can make it easier to dehydrate, so be careful and glug that H2O.
So, hopefully these tips will help you along your merry way. Remember: prioritise your safety and you’ll be guaranteed to have a hot trans summer, but in a bad bitch Megan Thee Stallion way rather than an “I’m overheating” way.
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