Yesterday was International Trans Day of Visibility, an annual celebration dedicated to recognizing and honoring the trans community. While many participate in these types of awareness holidays with surface-level responses and tokenistic acknowledgement, some actually take the opportunity to grow.
My Chemical Romance guitarist and vocalist Frank Iero used the day to reflect on a fan request he’s received for years: to sell chest binders as band merch.
Chest binders (or binders) are garments that transgender men, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming individuals use to flatten one’s chest for a more traditionally masculine physique. As such, binders are critically empowering tools for many people in expressing their authentic selves.
On Twitter, Iero used International Trans Day of Visibility to open up about the recurring requests for MCR binders. He admitted he knows very little about them, and is seeking guidance from fans on how to produce them ethically. “Please educate me on what you want,” he said candidly in the Tweet.
Wait just a minute! Someone is acknowledging that they don’t know much about a topic, and is therefore asking others to teach them about it? What a concept!
Fans have responded to Iero’s refreshing honesty and thoughtful solicitation with resounding positivity and appreciation. Some have already drawn up a few mock-ups, and you can find a handful of their designs in the original Tweet’s replies. User @juluzqa even pitched a binder with Iero’s face onto it.
We’ll have to stay tuned for the release of the actual binders themselves. Until then, we can all learn an important lesson about empathy, listening, and true allyship from Mr. Iero.