I am a cis woman who wears a binder

Growing up I never liked the stereotypical girls toys or girls clothes but I always still identified as a girl; even in my black jeans and t-shirt I still felt very much like a female. Throughout my teen years I often wore boys clothes and wouldn’t be seen dead in a dress but I felt feminine (in my own way).

When I became involved in intersectional feminism at age 15 and learned about the variety of genders, I like many others decided to question my own gender. I considered how I’d been brought up and whether my gender differed from my female sex, I still felt very much like a girl but maybe that was just what I’d been taught to feel. After months of casual deliberation I came to the conclusion that actually I was a cisgender woman, I felt like a woman, lady, female, girl, (I could go on forever) and I always had.

Now aged 19, my partner identifies as non-binary and wears a chest binder to combat their gender dysphoria while I still identify as cis. However in the last few months I have found myself slipping (well more like forcing) it on when they leave it at my house; and not just to try it on, several times I’ve warn it all day for a couple of days. My relationship with my boobs has always been unusual, as a teen I either used to wear padded bras to show them off or sports bras to strap them down, and this changed from day to day. At the time I didn’t think this was unusual, after all boobs were fun but they was also really really annoying; they hurt half the time, and bounced too much, and got in the way.

Though the same pattern continues today, some days I’m very happy to wear a push up bra to show them off, but other times I despise them and attempt to push them as far down as possible. There are days I love my boobs but there are also days I feel sick to my stomach having to see them in the mirror. However my gender identity is still cis (I’d go as far as demi-girl) even with the binder hiding something that is supposed to be intrinsically feminine, I still feel feminine. The thing is I don’t think I associate breasts with being female, some women don’t have any and some men have handfuls; so even in the binder I feel female, in my head I am a woman and so it doesn’t matter how I choose to express myself.

For the last month I’ve been seriously considering buying my own binder, and today I think I’ve arrived at that day. I won’t wear it everyday, I probably will wear it less than 50% of the time, but on the days I do wear the binder it will combat the dysphoria I feel.

 

GCSE Advice From an A Level Student

Originally posted on The Student Room

Exactly 2 years ago I freaking out about the looming threat of GCSE exams and I remember exactly how tough it was. Thankfully I passed all 12 of my exams and gained some helpful tips along the way.

1. Prioritise. I knew to get into college I needed 5 A* – C grades so I picked 6 GCSE’s (one was a reserve) I knew I would achieve well in (including Maths and English) and decided these were my priorities. I focused most of my revision on these and revised much less for the others. Some I even completely discarded – French and Religious Studies.

2. Work out which way you revise best. I found out I remember things best when I hear and see them, so I watched a load of you tube videos instead of re writing notes. I also forced family and friends to quiz me.

3. Staying motivated is easiest when you’re revising with someone. By working together you can get things done faster, and when you don’t have the answer they usually do. I had a friend who did most of the same classes who I revised with.

4. As for how much do you do? I think I did 1.5 hours a night on weekdays, 3 – 4 hours on a Saturday and then took Sunday off. This isn’t an exact formula, different schedules will work differently for everyone.

5. Stay calm. As someone who suffers with anxiety I know exactly how difficult this can be; but tell yourself positive things (e.g. “I can do this, I’m not going to let it beat me”) and set time aside for relaxing.

6. Despite what everyone says, it’s never too late. I’m not advising you start revising the night before the exam; BUT if you suddenly find yourself extremely close to an exam and you’ve yet to revise don’t decide it’s too late and give up. Any revision is better than no revision. I pulled an all-nighter before my Chemistry GCSE and managedĀ a C (although I really don’t advise this because it was exhausting).

7. Revise the hardest stuff when you have the most energy. For me this is ridiculously early in the morning (between 6 am and 11am) but for you it might be 4pm or 2am. This is when the most information will go in and you can leave the easier tasks for when you’re less awake.

8. Chat outside the exam hall. If you’re waiting to go in talk to the people near you about the subject, last minute quiz each other before you head in. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I was able to answer a question because I’d talked to someone about it outside the exam hall.

9. Don’t compare yourself to others. This is hardest part in my opinion; I know the feeling all too well when you work your arse off to achieve a B and your friend does minimal work and gets an A. But remember that your academic potential will not be the same as others and if your B is the best you can do that’s okay.

10. Don’t push yourself too hard. You probably know your limits and you shouldn’t push yourself past them; if that means getting a lower grade to save your sanity that’s okay. Towards the end of my GCSE’s I pushed myself beyond my limits which resulted in frequent panic attacks and had I gone any further would have resulted in a small breakdown. Did I get the grades I needed? Yes. Did my mental health suffer massively? Yes. Was it worth it? God no.

11. And finally remember that if you don’t get the grades you want you are not a failure. We’re all different and and have different strengths, an academic pitfall doesn’t mean your life is over, trust me. There’s plenty of time to try again or take a different route to your career of choice. I know it seems like it now but GCSE’s are not the be all and end all of your life – I’ve been at college 2 years and no one has even asked me what I got.

Good luck everyone.

An Introduction

I’ll be honest in saying that I’ve written and rewritten this post more times than I care to admit. My perfectionist nature means every draft has been too serious, too pretentious, too formal, or just downright not good enough. Until I realised than I was trying way too hard to be impressive and not hard enough to be genuine, so I’ve decided to take a much more relaxed approach.

Hey! My name is Rosie, I’m an 18 year old A Level student from the UK. I’m in my second (and last) year at a college in Devon; studying English Literature, Media Studies, and Psychology. My favourite things to do are walking, photography, writing, reading, watching documentaries/films, and listening to music. I’m extremely passionate about most social issues, such as, feminism, politics, animal rights, and discrimination of any kind.

I’ve started this blog to voice the opinions and feelings I harbor but never seem to release. I’ll be writing about various issues ranging from my opinions on government, to how to successfully home-dye your hair. While I don’t have an upload schedule but I’ll attempt to force myself to write once a week – only time will tell how that goes – otherwise I’ll be writing whenever inspiration strikes.

I hope you stick around as there are some exciting posts to come!

See you soon, Rosie xx