I’m going to preface this with a really simple and blunt statement. Any rude comments left on this post will not be approved. I’m doing this to protect my guest as well as anyone who may stumble upon this post. Just be a nice person, please. This blog is a body snark free zone, even if you may not agree with the subject matter.
I decided to interview Nate, otherwise known as The Bra Guy, for two reasons. The first reason is because I’m trying to feature a wide variety of people and perspectives on my blog. The second reason is because I believe that men who wear bras are the most forgotten members of the bra fitting/body positive community. Unfortunately, lingerie is seen as a “woman only” thing and it can be quite difficult for men who need to or choose to wear a bra. Men who wear bras can sometimes be regarded as “creeps”, and some incredibly uninformed people make the incorrect assumption that every man who wears a bra is a “cross dresser*”. I’m hoping that we can break this stigma the more we talk about it. I hope that some day men can wear bras without having hurtful stereotypes and negative assumptions made out of them. Criticizing a man for wearing a bra is just as nonsensical as criticizing him for wearing socks.
I’ll let him introduce himself:
Hello, all, I’m Nate the creator and editor behind the blog “The Bra Guy”. I’m just a normal guy who develop Gynecomastia, I created this blog as a way to cope with my condition and further to help people in similar situations. My blog focuses on one alternative method in dealing with Gyne, which is to wear a Bra. This solution is not for everyone, which I understand, but Surgery is not for everyone either. I’m a strong advocate for choice and this brings more choices to the table. I hope my blog will create in general more awareness surrounding Gynecomastia, which is often misunderstood, and help create more choices in coping with the condition by removing any societal barriers or judgments.
Rolls and Curves: Do you find it difficult to talk about gynecomastia on the internet considering how judgmental people can be?
The Bra Guy: Yes, i can at times find it very difficult to talk about Gynecomastia. It’s not a very well understood condition even by some medical professionals, so that makes it even more complex sometimes.
RAC: What is something you’d like to see addressed on the internet? (On blogs, forums, communities, etc)
RAC: When did you decide you needed to wear bras, and how was your journey to find a bra that fits?
TBG: It took me a while, maybe close to a year because I struggled with my condition, because nothing else seem to do the job. Binders work to a degree, but they also can be dangerous, if they are not sized correctly. I also found them extremely uncomfortable. I often just lived with the pain, and this is what caused me to start my bra journey. My journey was a difficult one, because of the stigma surrounding a guy wearing a bra. I went through a lot of trail and error, which was leading me nowhere. I wanted to get a professional fitting, but few places wanted to deal with a Man. Believe it or not, it was a Victoria’s Secret Associate that sized me correctly, she did not use the VS standard method of fitting me. She was very knowledgeable and explained to me, almost every detail relating to bras. Considering, what I read about VS later relating to their fitting methods, I was lucky to find someone who cared and was very knowledgeable.
RAC: How has having gynecomastia impacted dating and relationships?
TBG: The impact on dating and relationships is less about Gynecomastia and more about bra wearing. I found that partners/SO can accept Gynecomastia to a degree, but is less likely to accept bra wearing as a solution to Gynecomastia. This is because society has trained people that it’s simply not normal, no matter the case.
RAC: I understand that you’ve decided to not undergo surgery. How did you make this decision?
TBG: Well, at first surgery was not a option for me, when it did at a later date become an option for my consideration, the cons outweighed any pros in my case. Surgery is not fun and is never a simple procedure, I just had surgery a few years ago that was not as smooth as it should have been, and I was not looking forward for another one. Money was also a big factor in my thought process, my insurance was not going to cover it. The fact that by this time, I had already accepted my body, made it seem like a non issue.
RAC: What bra fitting concerns do you believe are exclusive to men?
TBG: The wider chest that men tend to have vs women, combined with often having far shallower breast tissue. Now some women may have these issues too, but they tend to multiplied in Men. We also tend be taller, which often causes problems with the straps, they are often not long enough. I found I need fully adjustable straps for the most part.
RAC: What bras and bra brands do you like to wear most often?
TBG: I like bras from Victoria’s Secret, Soma, and Bali. I found these brands to work the best for me, because of their often shallow shapes. They don’t work for all, especially since they tend deal with a limited size range, but they work well for me. I also tend to prefer Push Ups, but not for reasons you or others may think. I like the padding that Push Up has because it tends to support me the best and be comfortable at the same time. I look for support and comfort overall in my bras.
RAC: Do you ever have difficulty shopping for bras in brick and mortar stores?
TBG: Yes, at times it can be difficult, especially if you know you’re making others uncomfortable. If I feel my presence is upsetting things too much, I will often leave and come back later. I have no desire to make others feel uncomfortable. Also, sometimes S/A’s or other customers are extremely rude to you, because they feel your presence is not supposed to be there. It can be a very nerve wrecking experience at times. Fitting can be a whole other issue altogether, I will often buy the bra, try it on at home, and than return it if necessary. However, just because I have had some bad/so-so experiences, does not mean I haven’t had some great and wonderful ones too.
RAC: Did you have a difficult time achieving a body positive outlook?
TBG: Yes. I still consider it, a work in progress sometimes. However, overall, I have accepted my body and myself as an unique person. Body image and being positive about it, is hard, no matter the gender.
RAC: Is there anything else you’d like people to know about you?
TBG: I’m just a normal guy that wears a bra. Can I be passionate about my blog articles, and bras, yes. However, this does not make me any less of a human. We, as a society, needs to step up and stop judging people so much. If we open our minds, we might see some very cool people. In my blog, I try to be an advocate for all people, no matter the gender, or preferences, etc.
I’d like to thank Nate for being willing to do this interview with me and for providing some great answers to my questions. If you’d like to read the interview I did for his blog, click here. I really appreciate what Nate is doing for men who wear bras. I have a personal connection to gynecomastia because my boyfriend has been suspected of having it. He hasn’t been diagnosed because he is overweight, but his size remains constant regardless of weight loss and gain. He’s more comfortable in a bra, but he’s too afraid of his coworkers, friends, and family finding out and making fun of him. I hope it becomes more socially acceptable for men to wear bras in the near future. Nobody deserves to be uncomfortable just because of social pressure.
*I used the term “cross dresser” because I specified I was talking about a male identifying individual and the stereotypes that come along with a man wearing a bra. A transgender woman that wears bras would not be considered a “cross dresser”, and it’s disgusting that there’s people out there who think that way. I understand that the term has negative connotations in the LGBT community. I stress that I am not making transphobic statements, and am simply stating how uninformed individuals may view a man that wears bras.