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Voice Dysphoria

HRT can do many wondrous things for me, from helping to shape the body I want, to helping me feel at peace with myself. Unfortunately, it cannot change my voice...
Ever since my voice broke, when I was in grade 5, I have hated my voice with a passion. I hated the way it sounded in my head, I hated the way it sounded when recorded. There is was never a moment that I can recall being happy with the way I sounded.

I can't always tie that to gender dysphoria, though I knew even back then that something wasn't right and I had no words to really articulate it. However, I did know that it wasn't me, or at least it wasn't how I thought I should have sounded.

Now, more than ever, this has become a huge source of dysphoria for me. Everything I am doing for myself is about bringing myself and my perspective into congruence and this hangs over me like the Sword of Damocles as a constant reminder that merely opening my mouth can undo so much in a moment.

So,  I am taking steps. I had my first meeting with a voice therapist today. She was super amazing, very friendly, and very trans aware and supportive. We talked about a number of things, including what reads as feminine vs masculine, about pitch and resonance, and just how words and sentences are pronounced. It was very enlightening. I also got some homework...
  1.  Watch this video on pitch vs resonance to understand the differences and how they matter. The video is by a trans woman and, quite frankly, her voice is spectacular.
  2.  Download an app called Voice Tools (I already had done so).
  3.  Find a trans "voice idol" that exemplifies my goals for my voice. That is especially hard! As much as I would love to get to where Zheanna (the creator of the video above) is, I would rather be realistic. She is, by the way, a fabulous singer.
So, when it comes to a voice idol, I have some work to do. I'll be honest, I'd love to be somewhere in the neighbourhood of Cher or Kathleen Turner, both with a lower pitch, but definitely feminine resonance. Open to suggestions!

I also tried the Voice Tools app today. It is really quite interesting, but I don't think I was emotionally prepared for the Analyse tool. I mean, I guess I expected the outcome, but then listening to my own voice very nearly made me cry. I need to do it though, but it's painful.

Anyways, this too I shall overcome. My voice therapist asked my goals and I told her, "I just want to sound congruent and to have confidence in it." So, twelve weeks booked. I might need to invest in lozenges.


While you're here, you might like:

Sometimes the stove is hotter than you expected

So, I recently decided that I would dip my toe back into a Q&A site, Stack Exchange's Photography site, where I was once a moderator... turns out, the stove was hot and I got burned by it. Content warning: transphobic slurs in an image.

Isn't that a shame? Well, anyways...

It seems like a neverending stream of hate is directed towards us in the LGBTQ+ community and time and again we're told that it's just a fringe, that the majority supports us. Where is that majority? They feel very absent to me. 

Gender Questing

I want to talk about gender questing as a bit of a follow-on from my recent post about using "identifies as" with respect to gender.