Non-Binary Model’s Patient Conversation with an Angry Mom Might Make You Cry

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

It’s hard not to feel frustrated and angry when someone says close-minded things. And sometimes, it’s truly not worth the energy to give a kind response to these offensive comments. But at other times? These comments can turn into a teaching moment for everyone involved.

Rain Dove is a non-binary model from Vermont. Like many public figures, they regularly receive unkind or even violent messages from strangers on Instagram. Rain’s policy is to remain unwaveringly compassionate, no matter the message.

On one recent occasion, Rain’s kindness actually helped the mother of a gender-diverse child learn and grow in her understanding of her child.

View this post on Instagram

Parents I promise that a professional binder is a safer option for your teen than alternatives they might be using. Getting them one as a gift can be life saving. A great brand and resource is @gc2b they even recently gave me a whole box to donate when in SA. Amazing conscientious and involved company. Binding ones chest can be a dangerous thing- especially when using alternative options like I used to do. Ace bandage and ducttape lead to skin tearing, fractured ribs and I even passed out once after taking off the binding from the oxygen rushing into my system again. I have models I’ve worked with who will testify times in which they saw my body distorted after inappropriate binding practices. People bind for many reasons. It’s not always identity or dysphoria related. Especially people with larger breasts have expressed binding has been lifesaving in functional terms. Binding CAN be lifesaving and ease much anxiety. I must note that it alone won’t make someone feel complete in their existence. We must work to dismantle toxic oppressions that lead to social oppressions and anxieties. We must create a space of love for all people to live in no matter their bodies. We must create a safe space for dialogue. #LoveWins #noteasybutworthit #nonbinary #memes #educatedonthate #binding #lgbtq #genderfluid #trans #lovewins #grsm NOTE: Sammys parent gave me permission to post this convo! Always important to make sure You have permission! The photo is not their real face.

A post shared by Rain Dove (@raindovemodel) on

The mom explains that her daughter asked for a binder for her chest for Christmas.

“How are You feeling about it?” Rain asks. “Does it feel a bit heavy?”

The mom replied honestly that she feels like her child hates her body because of “perverts” like Rain. But Rain remains kind, understanding, and complimentary.

By the mom’s replies, you can see that she is initially taken off-guard by Rain’s kindness. But ultimately, they are able to get on the same page.

“The reason a binder is great is because they are medically much a safer option than alternatives your kid may be turning to when you’re not around,” Rain explains. “Binding with ace bandages, tape, and even torn fabric. It can lead to broken ribs, lacerations and lung deformation if the material isn’t stretchy.”

They go on to explain why someone might need to bind: for many reasons “from gender dysphoria to social discomfort.” Then they explain how, accepting her child at this moment could actually be a life or death matter.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

“It may be confusing to You and even feel painful to witness but if You push them away when they are expressing vulnerable truths about themselves it could lead to self harm or even an environment for suicide,” they said. “Would You rather have Your child in your life or gone forever?”

In the end, the mother agreed to allow the binder, do more of her own research, and check back in with Rain if she has any questions.

“Thank you very much for talking me through without being angry,” she says. “I want her to live a life she loves that’s all.”

A happy ending!