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Sound Barrier soooo hard to break! I'm not even trying for supersonic!


swallow

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Hi,

 

New here everyone! ?

 

This is a MASSIVE preoccupation of mine currently...

 

I just can't seem to cross the psychological threshold.

 

I'm not on hormones although I'm fairly slight for 5'9 and can pass when out and about in relatively feminine clothing (leggings). I get 'Miss' and' Mam' mostly, that is ... until I open my mouth.

I wrote in my Intro yesterday that its the 'Barry White' but I wish! Its not quite that deep and sexy folks but its not high and feminine either! Urgh.

 

Mostly the problem comes at check out at the supermarket. Since these are complete strangers, I'd resolve myself to speak feminine inching forward but invariably when show time, end up breaking back into male voice...?

 

So the clerks than go into fire fighting mode either apologise to me or more frequently pretend nothing has happened and double down on the Sirs thereafter. Luckily I live in LA and most people seem cool with whatever I am/tolerate it or I pass enough for them to think 'work in progress" maybe...

 

I don't feel a need to correct them personally bc I am not too bothered by misgendering but I feel SOOOOO awkward for them. Of course it would be nice to hear female pronoun...

 

I was seeing a Therapist for 4 to 6 months just before the Pandemic outbreak and she gently encouraged me to use my female voice on her.

 

I had told her I was watching a number of those super helpful youtube channels on the subject and was secretly practising it at night before bed time when my kids were (hopefully) asleep and out of ear shot.

 

Upon advise, I downloaded an APP called VoiceTools (free, I'm cheap) as well to help in the process... I felt I made progress and achieved a reasonably convincing pitch.

 

BUT each time I visited her (The Therapist), I'd squeak a couple of words (which she encouragingly said sounded good) then I'd revert quickly back to original voice.

 

I simply could not do it....even with someone receptive and forgiving.

 

I don't know if it is bc :

 

1) I feel the voice is 'fake' not me

 

or

 

2) the old voice is a defensive mechanism?

 

But I HATE my old voice.

 

Yet I somehow can't seem to  bring myself to use my highly practised female voice even at the Supermarket with (these days) anonymity behind a couple of face masks (I am a habitual Hypochondriac so even with shots, am still happily behind double protection)

 

Its a complete mental block for sure! Sooooo frustrating!??

 

I'm sure others have had this problem and wonder how you went about surmounting this?

 

 

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  • Admin

Instead of trying to speak, try to sing.  My voice is a low tenor singing voice which I am getting ready to use in a bit singing with the Trans Chorus of Los Angeles getting ready for Pride month.  The techniques for singing and finding your voice range carry over to speaking.  You probably revert to chest voice which is baritone to bass in most cases.  The other thing to the singing is that women do have a more musical inflection in their wording which makes a big difference.  Singing in the shower, or singing to a song on your computer and hearing your words as you do it helps you match pitch naturally and its a lot of fun.

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Hi Vicky great advise...?

 

I am a closet amateur shower singer (not out yet)?

 

And I've noticed with the voice exercises, it has actually improved my (nominally limited range) singing. I'm able to hit some decently high notes now.

 

The singing thing was a major bug bear for many decades bc I use to have a voice (in choir junior school) until (of course) the puberty hit. Hide. I refrained from singing thereafter except when forced.

 

Its weird bc when I speak (original voice) I always feel I sound higher but when its played back to me...cringe.?

 

My problem is social interaction time, just don't seem to have the nerve...?

 

 

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Yeah, what @VickySGV said. I find that my feminine voice is mostly just my singing voice (I ALWAYS went high when I'm singing). It'll also help you with your speaking range (women hit a wider range of notes than men do when speaking).

 

There are a lot of moving parts to a good feminine voice though. The trick is to practice, practice, practice and know how to recover when you make a mis-step.

 

Hugs!

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Thanks Jackie. Singing is a great pursuit I am going to ramp up (Hopefully it won't garner too much complains...my daughter is super critical...but lucky she's away in college)?

 

I wonder how it was when you first used your feminine voice in public, did you have someone along for encouragement, did you try it out on someone close before hand?

 

I thought using it (these days with a mask on) at the supermarket in short anonymous interactions would do the trick particularly since they consistently Mam or Miss me first but I'm just tongue tied when that happens and revert immediately back to 'male' voice even after I practised (for ten minutes) before hand sitting in the parked car before entering the market.

 

Often to get to tone, I speak in a 'mock Thai'...don't ask me why I don't speak Thai but it somehow gets me to the right tone.

 

Then all for nought when moment of truth.

 

Its a complete mental block.?

 

 

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  • Admin

I should have said this before, but another thing to do, is get on a site where other Trans folks are talking and even on Zoom can join in.  Part of the problem is NERVES and that problem shows up in your voice as well. In other words talk to people with whom you are safe and you can kick back and not worry.  You say you live in the Los Angeles area and there are a bunch of LGBTQ community centers whose Trans support groups are doing Zoom or other online.  The Los Angeles LGBTQ Center has Trans groups regularly, and so do San Gabriel Valley, Long Beach, South Bay and Orange County Centers.  Once you get over the fear of "losing your voice" it will actually become more feminine.  As I said above my voice is just above middle C (actually C#) and I do not get "read" on my voice except in certain areas where actually they automatically say male pronouns.  My only continuing issue is on the phone, and since it is all sales schemes for the most part, who cares.   Get out with folks you can trust and just talk.

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Thanks Vickie.

 

I'm thinking I need to find someone I can trust to practise with before I go into a larger group but yeah I guess the LGBTQ Trans group may be a good way since peeps there will be more forgiving and honest feedback. Sometimes you worry people just trying to be kind and telling you what you wanna hear otherwise.

 

I suppose as it is opening up more now, I'd be able to try one of these meetings out.

 

On that note (no pun), I've been taking advise and belting out some carpenter songs in the shower. "Yesterday Once More" has a good and challenging range!? Good exercise!

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  • Forum Moderator
14 hours ago, swallow said:

I wonder how it was when you first used your feminine voice in public, did you have someone along for encouragement, did you try it out on someone close before hand?

 

Nope. I went to the supermarket by myself and I completely blew it. Clocked as soon as I opened my mouth. I just went back and practiced some more until I got it right.

 

Hugs!

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I think they are on to me at one of the supermarkets now...they simply avoid ALL pronouns besides addressing me directly as 'you' bless them.? (This one being a Japanese market, very polite people)

 

Part of me is afraid I guess that if I use a female voice and still get clocked its probably something-else visually I'm not doing quite right. Like last time I came out of the mall and a man sniggered at me and I thought at first it was my double masking but turn out my strapless AA bra was lobsided, one 'breast' was slipping.... I was carrying too much stuff to notice.??

 

I had resolved earlier that I should slowly graduate my voice upwards but the problem is if I go a little higher up incrementally, I run the risk of immediately falling back to  low mode...going much higher seems to be do away with 'laziness' but much harder to sustain.

 

I think I've found the comfort zone now. I just have to find courage to keep falling, like riding a bike I suppose.

 

I think I'll try speaking/engaging with very few words first (which is of course opposite of me).:refuse:

 

Went to a market once in an exotic foreign faraway land and was specifically instructed with the girls I was with not to say anything but give coded nods so they could haggle on my behalf and get the best price. They're conspired cover story for me  was that I was a mute which garnered sympathy from plenty of the market stall holders who took pity on me being so young  and 'handsome' (many decades back of course) but without tongue... I was talk of the market...of course not long after I could not resist with the haggling and opened my big mouth (forgot the plan entirely)...chased out of the market.:lol:

 

 

 

 

 

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  • Forum Moderator
11 hours ago, swallow said:

had resolved earlier that I should slowly graduate my voice upwards but the problem is if I go a little higher up incrementally, I run the risk of immediately falling back to  low mode...going much higher seems to be do away with 'laziness' but much harder to sustain.

 

It's like any other muscle, you've got to strengthen it. A good exercise is the half-swallow. Take a small sip of something and swallow. Feel how your voice box comes up and down? Fantastic. Now swallow, but hold your voce box up for as long as you can. You CAN breathe while you're doing this, but it takes some practice to hold your throat where you want it and breathe at the same time. For now, just do it as long as you can and work out the breathing part later.

The beauty of this exercise is that you can do it anywhere and it builds endurance for your female voice.

 

Hugs!

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Swallow...you know I can do that!?

 

Thanks for the advise. Probably some benefits for that jawline as well.

 

Hugs back at ya!

 

 

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