That said: I hate hiding.
I hate hiding, and if I were speaking to you I would not just be emphasizing that vowel, I would be hissing the H and clicking my teeth together on the T; I cannot stand needing to build up all these walls to hide fundamental facts of my being, my self.
"But Lauren, then why do you bind your breasts?"
That's not hiding. That's exactly the opposite.
My body is my body, and it is very important, and I only get one, but the shape of my body is not intrinsically part of who I am; it's just part of what I am. And the what that I am matters, but not nearly so much as the who.
I am not hiding a what when I choose to express my who. I have days when my breasts should not be there. Sometimes this manifests in a disconnection, like the day I woke up under the impression that my pillow was somehow on my chest. Sometimes this manifests almost identically to a fight-or-flight instinct, except with nothing even vaguely worthwhile to focus it on. Sometimes it's just generally terrible.
When I cannot find pants that fit in a store, I leave the store and forget about the pants for a while, because they're a thing I put on me and I can just push them out of my head. When I could not find a binder that functioned, I tried to do the same thing. I could not. I was not putting on a binder in the way one puts on pants; I was not trying to do something to make myself look good/not-naked/whatever. I was trying to make my body look like my body. Had I dropped the thing that was on over what needed to be there, I would not have dropped the binder any more than I would have dropped my legs when I went pants shopping. I would have needed to drop my breasts.
I couldn't. So I wore ill-fitting jeans, except the metaphor breaks down around there because ill-fitting jeans are still usually ill-fitting jeans over something that is the right shape. Dysphoria is a beast unto itself.
I'm not doing what I'm doing to have a perfect pair of jeans; I'm not ever going to. But I think I can find a nice pair that fits, and shows what I already know should be there.
That will never be hiding.