Finding my voice

Probably the hardest part of being a transgender girl is finding my voice. It is so tricky! There’s other things that are difficult, like mannerisms and walk that will give you away in an instant, but the single most difficult thing for me to do as a transgender girl is to find my voice….and keep it! 

Other things are solvable. Too hairy? Shave, wax or laser hair removal. Boy hair? Wig time. Boy features? Makeup. Boy legs? Pantyhose and heels. Monobrow? Eyebrow shaping. No shape? Padding. Boy walk? Practice with heels. Boy voice….. Um? 

I can be fairly good with my girl voice. I have practiced a lot. But I have a lot more to learn. It’s not just about pitch. That’s just the first place most of us go. 

I think I know enough about my vocal range so that I know where to pitch my voice. I like to sing….but I’m only good enough for the shower. If you can find the range just below your falsetto voice that’s probably the best place to start. Because a squeaky falsetto will never be a convincing girl voice.  

For me it means that I can sing “Let it go” from the movie Frozen without getting into falsetto. However something like “How far it goes” from the movie Moana takes me a couple of notes into falsetto range…so just a touch too high. 

So I’ve found my range….But! The first thing I’ve noticed is that it’s not easy to maintain this range. It’s one thing to sing it. But to speak it? Naturally? It’s challenging at the moment. Hopefully it becomes easier. 

In the morning I need to warm up my vocal chords to use that higher range. Otherwise a squeaky mess comes out. Then in the afternoon I find that my voice tires and I end up dropping my voice down unintentionally. I also find that staying hydrated plays a huge part in being able to maintain my voice. 

Eyebrows and smiling. Two tips that I came across on YouTube were surprisingly helpful in finding my voice. The first was raising your eyebrows when you speak because it raises your pitch. Well it works for me 🙂 The second was to speak with a smile because it makes you sound more like a girl. This worked for me as well. 

Volume. Oh I have trouble with volume. My girl voice is quite soft and quiet. So whenever I’m in a situation where I need to raise my voice, I’m in trouble. I just can’t get there…..yet. It’s something I need to work on, but there’s other pieces that I think are more important to work on like girlspeak. 

Girlspeak, I think I’ve learned some of this just by listening. The phrasing, the wording, the inflexions? The tricky part is using it in real life. And the trickier part is learning more, because like, I don’t exactly know what I don’t know, you know? And hopefully after all this I don’t sound like a caricature (is that even possible?), you know? 

So I spend a lot of time on this because practice makes perfect right? Seriously I spend more time on my voice than any other aspect of being a girl. Most of the other bits are either set and forget for the day (maybe a little maintenance) like clothes and makeup. 

Walking and mannerisms arent set and forget but I don’t use them as much as my voice. And I have more confidence in my walk than my voice. Mannerisms? I’m sure there are still boy things that I do but still I think voice is more important. 

So lots more practice and study for me on this complex subject. Hopefully one day I’ll see how far I’ll go.  

Photo by Ben White 

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