The much awaited Out in the City is coming up as part of the Pride Festival and we can’t wait! We’re looking for volunteers to help out at the Binders fundraising stall – we’ll be selling our gorgeous transgender diversity mugs, giving out info leaflets, writing down the items sold during the day, and accepting donations; and all while having a great time! GMA staff will be there at all times, and we can show you how to do sales on the day so don’t be shy if you haven’t done this before! We will have stall shifts of 2 hours, so if you’d like to donate a couple of hours to a great cause we would love to have you.
All money raised will go towards our national free binder programme; providing free binders for trans folks who need one and can’t afford to purchase one. These are absolutely life-saving medical devices that aren’t funded by any DHBs, so you will be directly supporting trans people in need.
Simply click the rainbow button below to fill in the contact form, and Sophie will get in touch with you before the day to confirm the shift roster and let you know what time to rock up. Day: Saturday March 27th. Place: Michael Fowler Centre, 111 Wakefield Street, Te Aro, Wellington.
Our national free binder programme is still up and running, but applications are now closed until we have cleared the waiting list.
In the last year we have received over 365 applications – more than one each day. As a small transgender led charity we cannot meet this demand.
We are working hard to secure funds so we can clear the waiting list as soon as possible – we don’t want anyone to have to wait, or to bind using something unsafe. For the future, we anticipate opening applications once a year during Trans Awareness Week in November, until we reach the number we can afford to purchase (usually around 120). This way we can get them out to folks right away in time for the summer holidays.
This reinforces the need for access to puberty blockers and top surgeries, as well as publicly funded binders.
Our goal is to make puberty blockers and top surgeries, as well as binders, accessible through the public health system. You have a right to appropriate healthcare, and that includes medical prosthetics such as binders. The government needs to make sure that the public health system provides these.
We recommend talking to your local MP about better funding for trans health, and asking your GP to request that the local District Health Board (DHB) provides these medical devices.
The national free binder program was launched on March 31st (2019), and In the first 24 hours we had over 120 requests – a whole years binder budget. The seamstress we work with was hard at work, having purchased all the double reinforced power mesh which was available through her supplier. This had mostly gone toward making all the prototypes for binders, and our first 20 free binders (10 each month for April and May).
When the fabric ran out, the supplier thought they could re-stock, so we continued accepting new binder requests and orders for paid binders, with the understanding that we would need to apply for funding to clear the initial 120 rush on free binders, but paid binder purchases could be filled as they came in, and we would continue to give away 10 free each month.
However, after some time, we discovered that the fabric supplier was unable to re-stock, so the seamstress, as well as GMA and other trans advocates, went to work looking for new fabric suppliers.
As we are not a commercial operation, and we run on very little money, we don’t have big buying power, and we’re limited to fabric which is available in NZ at a reasonable price, so this put a halt on the creation of binders until a new supplier could be found.
Then one day in late June, the seamstress found a new fabric supply. She immediately set to work on the new design 2.0 – it runs slightly larger and is more like the GC2B binder than the Underworks one. It’s also ok to put on overhead.
We have had fantastic feedback about these binders – even better than the first ones! There is now a wider selection of sizes as well, currently up to around an 18EE or XXXL.
In addition to the 10 free binders each month, almost all of the paid binders have been sent out in the order they were received, except a few which we ran out of the correct size for. Those last few should be sent in the next few weeks – as soon as the seamstress has time to make them (bear in mind she’s not a big commercial factory either).
We have stopped taking orders for paid binders, as chasing down payments was too much admin for our small crew, and paying increases the expectation of a fast service akin to a shop. You can still buy a binder from the seamstress, but it won’t be through GMA. As for free binder requests, these have continued to come in, at a rate much closer to 10 per month as expected.
So what about the backlog? We have plans to clear the entire waiting list, which we hope will be possible in August if our funding application and fund raisers come through, so fingers crossed! We welcome any help fund raising for binders – if you or your friends want to play a gig, have a sausage sizzle or cake stall, put on a drag show, or sell some hand crafts and donate the proceeds, your contributions make a big difference! Every $30 pays for another binder.
The binder programme is run by a small team of GMA volunteers, who all work hard for free. If you would like to ask a question or make a complaint, please do not contact the seamstress or individual volunteers directly, as their role does not involve handling feedback from 150+ people. Please direct all correspondence to email@example.com or for urgent matters call the National Coordinator on 020 404 92568