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invested energy

I have fallen into an easy pattern where being out and about is exceedingly comfortable and I recently looked back to hand written journal entries dating back 10 years ago where the difference was startling.

It takes time to settle into the skin you were meant to inhabit and I liken it to entering a hot bath where you immerse yourself in measured steps which must be learned and perfected.

We do in a shorter time what women take years to learn; cramming voice, comportment, dress and makeup techniques that must eventually demonstrate some kind of grace and seamless form that doesn't look like you're struggling. The reason I know I am there is by the lack of negative reaction and plentiful positive feedback that I receive. Maybe it's because I have stopped caring and settled into myself in the process becoming immune the way other tall women shrug off occasional stares as part of daily life.

The energy involved in painting an acceptable portrait of masculinity is dissolving into what it means to be myself which is infinitely superior and you realize only in retrospect how much was invested in escaping detection.

You even begin to feel what it's like for other people who don't need to work that hard.


Comments

  1. Well said, Joanna... I couldn’t agree more. A year ago all of my women’s clothing fit into two boxes that I put on a closet shelf. Today I have a filling closet and chest of drawers. It seems that every time I turn around I need something else and none of what I buy is frivolous.

    I am taking weekly voice lessons from a highly regarded specialist. It’s amazingly involved and complicated. She calls my vocal tract my instrument and we approach the lessons with similar detail. I have wondered what you did about your voice?

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    Replies
    1. I talked into a cell phone recorder until I could hear a woman's voice talking back. Practice is what you need and I highly recommend this method

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    2. I'm very impressed, Joanna. I can't imagine doing it all by myself in that way. I was shy even to record myself and analyze my voice but I've overcome that entirely. Where my coach comes into play is in helping me develop an understanding and strategies of how I can learn how to speak in an unambiguously female way that is safe. She is also helping me overcome my shyness.

      We use a couple of iPhone apps to help with the work. The first is Tuna Pitch which helps one to establish and learn her baseline pitch. For me that's F#-3, about 185Hz. The second app is called Voice Analyst which is very helpful. You record your voice for playback and saving (like your cell phone recorder). It also provides a graph of the recording (frequency vs. time) and summary statistics that help in the analysis and understanding. For example, a 60 year old woman's voice may drop to 145Hz in normal speech which is a bit into the male's upper pitch. I practice for 30-60 minutes every day; I agree that practice is everything.

      My therapist's name is Sandy Hirsch. She's an author of the book "Voice and Communication Therapy for the Transgender/Transsexual Client: A Comprehensive Clinical Guide". It's expensive at about $100 - probably more than most of want to spend. She loaned it to me for a week and I've skimmed it. It's excellent and includes a CD of before and after examples that's very encouraging.

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    3. I am glad you found some assistance I would only caution that in the end it's your own work that counts and I found my advice online for free and just practiced until it worked on the phone with someone on the other end of the line. Listening back to your own recording is the best way. Good luck!

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