I was spilling my guts to a friend over drinks; I think I should just stop drinking entirely. But in the process of relating my unusual life and its concomittant angst in a crowded room, I realized something. Or at least my friend realized something – I have a mental block surrounding my voice.
From October 16th, 2014:
This is getting progressively more difficult to think about, let alone write about. I feel lost. My mind doesn’t match my voice; my body doesn’t really match my voice, and I am lost.
According to my research, the voice is a direct reflection of a person’s mind, more so than the eyes or what one is saying. Voice is just one of those things that is just not well understood. The largest, richest corporations in the world cannot make artifical voices that sound human, even though this would increase their profits considerably – it’s that hard.
And then there’s the trans girl with a funky voice. There are few things that I fear more than changing it, letting someone tinker with it. Because a voice is who you are – even if it’s physically deformed. What happens if you change it? Does it change who you are?
Changing my voice has been the hardest part of this process, but there’s no getting around it. It’s the most squeamish, ticklish, fucked-up thing. I couldn’t stand my voice since forever, but I hate changing it, softening it, making it higher, pitching its resonance – playing my nasal passages like some kind of pipe organ. In a gadda da vida.
I’ll never sing again. I hate myself.
But that was the problem… Apparently, my block is that I hate my femininity. And voice is probably the purest, most intense expression of gender.
I’m paying through the nose for a speech therapist and I wouldn’t do the exercises. I created endless obstacles between me and the exercises – that they wouldn’t work and I could only do them at a certain time, in a certain place, under certain conditions, because God forbid anyone should hear me feminizing my voice, which seemed like the end of the world. I even created a semi-soundproof studio in my closet (of all places) to work on it before I got a roommate and needed the storage space.
Why would I be so embarrassed to have someone overhear me trying to make my voice higher? Because it sounds stupid? Yes, but no one cares at this point. And it’s not like my gender identity is a secret to anyone anymore. So what’s the problem? I didn’t want to sound more feminine. It’s weak, it’s wrong.
But it’s not. It’s okay for me to draw strength from femininity, from things that I associate with femininity; community, trust, mercy, and yes – a softer voice.
As it was strong to be masculine as a man, it’s strong to be feminine as a woman. This is something I need to remember.
At least I can do the exercises now.