If you’re a student at Murray State University and you have breasts, you can get them flattened if you like — the school will help.
At issue isn’t a free mammogram program; rather, it’s a provision allowing biological females to daily go down an evident cup size or few.
Like many colleges contemporarily, the public Southwestern Kentucky school boasts a Pride Center. It’s described at MurrayState.edu thusly:
The Pride Center works to provide a space for connection, growth and engagement for the LGBTQ+ student community through activities, services, support, training and social events. The work of the Pride Center fosters a stronger campus environment that is inclusive and supportive of all identities.
The webpage is adorned with six clickable tabs: “Pride Press Newsletter,” “First-Year Pride,” “Lavender Grad Reception,” “LGBTQ+ Student Organizations and Clubs,” “Make A Gift,” and “Chest Binder Service.”
As for that last offering, details are dealt:
Students exploring binding options can contact the Pride Center for sizing and fitting assistance. The Center offers information and the needed supplies to take down measurements, as well as, the option to try on different sizes.
Money is on the table if that’s what it takes:
Once students have identified what size binder is needed, they can apply for financial assistance to purchase a binder. Financial assistance is provided as funds become available.
In September, school paper The Murray State News spotlighted the Pride Center in its “Mental Health Highlight.” The outlet interviewed Director Abigail Cox (she/her), who recounted her sweater-puppy-pinning pioneering:
“[Pride Center initiative First-Year Pride] supports the transition from high school to campus by providing academic mentoring, monthly social opportunities and campus connections to resources and allies from across campus,” according to the Pride Center website.
Cox said this new initiative will help students adjust to campus life.
“In general, FYP gets students connected to the Pride Center early so that they know they have someone to talk to when they need assistance,” Cox said. “It also helps us reach out to see how students are doing and see what resources they may need to be successful.”
To address a need she saw on campus, Cox started a chest binder service during the spring 2022 semester.
A chest binder is a compression undergarment individuals, often transgender or nonbinary, use to flatten their breasts.
Cox said that while the center does not provide chest binders, they provide assistance with sizing and allow students to try different sizes on.
The center accepts gift cards to help students who need financial assistance to buy a chest binder.
Murray State isn’t the only school to help with torso-related tempering. As I covered in December, the University of Vermont hosted a November 29th seminar featuring a “healer” and veritable expert on mammary management.
From the event’s Instagram ad:
Activist, healer, and educator Frances Reed, founder of HealthyBinding.com, will lead a free, two-hour virtual workshop for students on healthy chest binding.
As for HealthyBinding.com, the site is based on a singular tenet:
It Shouldn’t Hurt to Be Yourself.
And in case you’re wondering why help might be appreciated in the realm of coniferous constraint, here’s part of the binding big-leaguer’s bio:
Frances was seriously injured from binding six years ago. Since then, they have seen transmasculine clients who are experiencing similar pain from binding and are desperate to find relief.
Chest binding is popping off; last summer, Target began selling breast binders as well as “packing underwear.”
It’s a new world, with all new ways of presenting oneself. And as universities appear to further shift focus from academics to social sensibilities, schools are making moves to help enrollees dress. It’s a long way from the college provisions of yesteryear; but yesteryear was effectively eons ago.
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