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Binder Exchange: Frequently Asked Questions
Who can apply to the program?
There are only five main criteria to qualify for our program:
1. You were assigned female at birth.
2. You experience gender dysphoria related to your chest.
3. You do not have the financial means to buy a binder and have no more than 1 already.
4. You live in DC, Maryland, or Virginia.
No other factors influence whether you can apply, including age, gender identity, or already owning a binder. Folks applying 13 years old or younger must have parental permission to apply.
Do I pay any costs to get a binder?
Applications do not pay any costs to receive a binder.
Where do the binders come from?
Out binders are donated from gc2b and are donated by other transmasculine and nonbinary folks. Some are new, while others have been worn. We do not send out stained or damaged binders.
Do you ship the binders?
Yes, we ship your binder to you.
What information do I need to include in my application?
In the application, we ask basic information that helps us verify eligibility and so that we can contact you. We also ask important questions about binding safely and ask for specific measurements to ensure we send a correctly sized binder. Specific instructions and a video are included in the application to assist with obtaining these measurements. Sizing yourself correctly is extremely important- an inch of two difference may result in you getting the wrong size.
Do I get to choose what kind of binder I get?
The application asks for preferences of style (short, long, etc.), which we try to fulfill if inventory allows. You do not get to select your preference of color.
How long will it take to get my binder?
After your application is approved and shipped, it should take no more than 4 business days. All shipments leave from Washington, DC. You can expedite the approval process by making sure your application is filled out completely and your measurements are done accurately. Any information that seems incorrect will delay the process since one of our staff will have to follow up with you before we can approve your application. When shipped, you will see your tracking number on your application when you login and click, "Check Status." Also make sure to approve emails from "email@example.com" in advance so it doesn't end up in your spam folder.
Is shipping discreet?
Yes. The outside package will contain your address, the name you choose to be put on the label, and our return address. Inside the package will only be the binder.
Can I choose the day/time my binder will arrive?
We ship first class USPS and cannot guarantee the time/day of arrival, but generally binders are shipped on Mondays. Please pay attention when mail normally comes to your house to get an idea when mail will arrive. You can also sign up for "Informed Delivery" from the USPS website under the name on the package before we ship your binder. Using this website, you should be able to leave instructions to the mail carrier for delivery.
What if I live outside of DC, Maryland, or Virginia?
There's many binder programs in the US and around the world. Here is a list of programs that are closer to you.
I have binders to donate. Where can I ship them/drop them off?
Please see the How can I help? page for more information.
You can also drop off your binder at any of our partner locations or you can bring binder donations to any DCATS' events.
How much does it cost to run the binder exchange program?
Our program is run by volunteers, but it costs $3-4 per binder to ship each one, plus supplies.
How is this program funded?
We are 100% funded by private donations. It currently costs about $325 a month to run the program at our current demand, which we expect to grow over time. If you're interested in helping out, please visit the How can I help? page. You can also send a one-time or reoccuring donation using this link.
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