Gender Affirming Apparel Basics

Why would someone want to use gender affirming apparel?

The gender-affirming products we carry, such as binders and tucking gaffs, can help reduce gender dysphoria and promote gender affirmation and gender euphoria. Gender dysphoria can be defined as “a profound and painful discomfort with one’s body and social image of gender” (Medico et al, 2020). Gender dysphoria is a crushing psychological weight. More importantly, our products help increase feelings of gender euphoria. Gender euphoria is “a joyful feeling of rightness in one’s gender/sex” or “a little shiny gender breakthrough” (Beischel, W. J., Gauvin, S., & van Anders, S. M, 2021). Put simply, gender euphoria is looking in the mirror and feeling comfortable with and liking what you see.

What is a Binder?

A binder is simply a chest compression garment. It’s sort of like a tight tank top. Our binders have a stiffer fabric in the front and a stretchier fabric in the back. This allows the binder to compress the chest without compressing the ribcage.

Is binding safe?

Yes. When the wearer listens to their body and has access to a variety of options, binding is a safe way to reduce gender dysphoria. Unfortunately, many youth report having no access to information about how to bind safely or connection to community resources to access binders. We conduct fitting appointments to provide people of all ages with a variety of binding options. We also review binding safety and connect our clients with other community resources.

What kinds of binders does ISH carry?

We have binders from two brands: Your Open Closet and GC2B. Our Your Open Closet binders come in black and white and are handmade in Vancouver, BC. The GC2B binders are generously donated to us and so come in a variety of colours and styles. The binders from GC2B are made in the United States. Since GC2B sizing runs two sizes smaller than Your Open Closet, we highly recommend clients book a fitting appointment before ordering a GC2B binder online.

What is a packer?

A packer is an object (sock, prosthetic/form, etc) that helps someone feel and look like they have a “package” or an external genital bulge. Our packers come from a great company called New York Toy Collective. We also carry packing boxers from Your Open Closet which are simply a pair of briefs with a pocket to hold a packer. The packers we carry fit well inside the packing boxers.

What is a gaff?

A gaff is an underwear garment designed specifically for tucking or arranging external/outside genitals between the legs. Wearing a gaff helps to smooth out the appearance of the pelvic area. We carry brief and thong styles from Your Open Closet.

We carry Your Open Closet’s Thong Padded Gaff and Brief Padded Gaff that are “designed to give you a secure, comfortable fit without breaking the bank, and without looking overly utilitarian. The waistband is wrapped to add durability, and the front panel is padded from waistband to gusset, to help flatten out the silhouette.”

How can I book a fitting appointment?

You can fill out the booking form and schedule your appointment time here. All products are subject to availability.


Medico, D., Pullen Sansfaçon, A., Zufferey, A., Galantino, G., Bosom, M., & Suerich-Gulick, F. (2020). Pathways to gender affirmation in trans youth: A qualitative and participative study with youth and their parents. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 25(4), 1002–1014.

Beischel, W. J., Gauvin, S., & van Anders, S. M. (2021). “A little shiny gender breakthrough”: Community understandings of gender euphoria. International journal of transgender health, 23(3), 274–294.

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