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ShawnaLeigh

Do you Practice everyday?

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ShawnaLeigh

I have been doing this.  All day long.  Everyday. At work, in public, and at home.  In everyway possible.  I'm talking about the over all presentation. (Less the clothing or make up as I am not completely out yet.) (Sigh)

Of course there are things you only do a little bit at a time. Some more often. So I am so hyper-focused on all these things now.  "How would a women do this or that", I ask myself several times a day.  My thought is to do everything I can, all the time, and make it become a part of who I am, physically speaking.  Make them automatic/subconscious actions eventually.

So things like the way I walk.  I practice "the glide" and keeping my steps not as spaced out as before.  Keeping my knees together or closer together vs. that cave man step guys tend to display.  Straight posture and chest out slightly.  Elbows not only in closer but slightly back too.  Even the way I hold my arms and hand positions while walking. Wrists and hands/fingers have more flow then looking like I am gripping a wooden club.  Even women who are walking in a hurry seem to keep the top of their heads level or from bobbing up and down like men do when they are walking fast.  I definitely do not over do any of this either as that would clock me very fast.  I definitely do not try to swing my hips or butt.  Rather I try to keep my foot prints one in front of the other but not to an extreme.  I try to emit and more feminine air to my gait.

 

I am always trying to interject my female voice, especially on the phone, but like @VickySGV had mentioned in another posts.  Not just the physical production of the voice, but trying for a softer sound and higher pitch.  Vicky mentions the choices of the words, sentence structure and inflection and pronunciation of those words.  Even the way I write I try to come across as female.  I am not sure if I am doing a good job or not as no one really comments on writing structure.  My hand writing is terrible and definitely not female looking to me.  This I need to work on a lot.

 

Eye contacts is different too.  Which this one is strange to me.  I seem to be more submissive around men then I do women now.  I am not sure where this is coming from honestly but it seems and feels right.  

 

The way I sit.  Even when alone.  I try desperately to keep my knees together as much as possible sitting.  Trying to get away from that manly wide spread leg and slouch sit.  Crossing my legs in a more female fashion even.  Even though I see men crossing their legs in this fashion too sometimes.  It seems to be a more female way of sitting.  I could never do it before, but I can now with my weight loss.

Eating much smaller bites and very slowly as compared to how I ate before.  Though this is recommended for everyone.   I find women do not power eat like men.  I have no choice but to eat a certain diet and portion size and its extremely healthy.  Developed by my doctors for my bariatric surgery.  But I also notice food choices are vastly different from men to women.  I'm not just talking salads either.  LOL

 

I still watch other women doing certain things.  (Without trying to be creepy.)  I have noticed there is no one "way" to act like a women.  They are all different. Being CIS they are all correct.   I listen to their voices and some have lower voices then me talking like a guy.  So I suppose its not good to hyper-focus on these things.  Being organic or natural is probably best.   However being born male and living as one for 52 years, it is hard to just change every male aspect over night.  Even your mind set keeps you leaning towards male actions when you are not paying attention to it..   Its hard to feel feminine when you display many traits of your male self.   Even if they are subconscious.

Like my friend @Jackie C. has said a few time in past postings.  "I feel like I have to Girl Harder then ciswomen".  LOL

(I love this quote)

Like anything in transition.  It will come, I know.  Slowly.  But I am so impatient.  LOL

 

Is there anything I missed or that you do differently?

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KymmieL

I do as well. I'd be walking and then I think crap dummy your a girl walk like one. So I slow down some taking smaller steps putting the glide in my walk. Same with sitting. Then somethings are starting to come naturally. My speech therapist says that my normal talking voice has a softer more feminine tone to it.

 

Kymmie

 

 

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MaryMary

I definitively have the reflex to look at what other woman do and try to emulate but I actually I'm trying to brake this habit and I'm intensely just trying to be myself. That include some of what you said but not completely either. I'm so far from myself it feels like. These days I am just trying to stop doing stuff just because others want me to do it (or I think they do). I spent all my life trying to be more feminine and/or more masculine but, might be the age, I'm over it. I totally understand what you say and it sounds like fun too ;) I'm a chaotic person by nature and I'm trying to be more spontaneous and authentic in my day to day.

 

That being said I will stop being slightly off topic and mention that you can buy a "posture corrector" that will help greatly with upper body stuff. Just search for this on google and you'll find

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MiraM

The only thing I consciously work on is my voice, and I am at the point that I don't concentrate as much on it any more either.  I have been working with a speech therapist for over a year, and do have a more forward resonance, and the pitch is consistently in the 'female' range.  Intonation needs work, but the more I speak the better it gets without having to really concentrate on it.

 

As far as how I walk, I have stopped trying to change that.  My normal way of walking is best described as the stereotypical "prance" of a very effeminate Gay man.  I spent my whole life trying to change that so I walked like a 'normal' guy.  Now I don't try to cover that up.  I just let it flow. 

 

I also don't try to change the amount of hand gestures when I speak any more.  I have always tried to tone that down as well.  It's much easier when I just let that be natural as well.

 

I've never done the man-spreading thing when sitting, so nothing to report there.

 

So I guess my 'practicing' is mainly just being aware of when I am trying to change the way I would naturally move, sit  or walk to try and make it into a more 'normal' male fashion, and just doing it the way that is most natural for me.  But hey, I'm not a male, so why do I have to change the way I am?

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ShawnaLeigh

I totally agree with achieving the organic self as being a women.  Just being natural without having to think about all this all the time. 

This is why I am being so proactive now to try and teach my brain and train my body how to move and sound.  Some things you may never change from how you were before.  I know this.  That's ok too.  Just basic skeletal build and muscle grouping of a man with dictate most movement when you are not fully concentrating on changing them.  

Old habits die hard too.  I slouch sitting and standing.  I have fought this my entire life.  I want it gone but I fear I will always do it when I am not making an effort to not do so.

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Jackie C.

I practiced a lot in the beginning. For me it was more about relaxing all the rules I'd learned about acting like a guy and just being myself. Over the last year and a half, all those old reflexes to "fit in" with a group of guys are gone and I can relax around people. I walk with my legs closer together, no real movement in my upper body, I just let my hips carry me. I've got less range than a natural woman, but I do well enough. I've got a girl walk, but not a SEXY girl walk. I think I'm mostly OK with that.

My mannerisms are already pretty female. I dance my way through conversations. My hands go where they're supposed to when I'm reacting to something someone else said. I balance things I'm carrying on my hip or in the crux of my arm. I used to force myself to carry books like a dude in High School. I still kept catching myself holding them like I was cradling a baby.

 

I had about half the female voice markers anyway. There are several voice lessons that were super-easy for me because I already did the mannerism that Nina was trying to teach. Some were harder and I still practice. Right now my singing voice is a little flat. I'd like to improve that. I also don't project as much as I probably should. If I'm being honest, I could work on my enunciation more to. Still, I'm very happy with my voice. My therapist put me in the top 5% of trans women voices she's heard. She's part of a LGBT+ choir with about two dozen trans women (and others naturally), so she's heard a few. Honestly, I think she's more active in the community than I am. Of course she's also closer.

I still say your resonance is more important than pitch when you're speaking in your female voice. That and all the little feminine markers. 

 

I think I'm down to small refinements. I'm still finding the occasional splinter of guy mannerisms here and there. I'm embarrassed when one slips out and I correct. Every day is just a little better than the day before. It's like emerging from a cocoon. Well, emerging from a cocoon, but much, much slower.

 

Hugs!

 

 

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VickySGV

Being simply out and full time for 10+ years by now, I am not sure it is practice, it is just simply life as I now have it.  Be kind to yourselves, the cares and worries you have in the beginnings are not really as great a barrier as you imagine at first.  There is really NOT that great a separation of the two genders as we have been taught to think about.  Some of it is the battle we had with trying to please our parents and families and their ideas of who we were that makes it seem we cannot be ourselves without jumping off cliffs.  Those are more the barrier than the little things we dwell on.  Those are the reasons and goals for therapy not really to know if we are one gender or another or many, but to assure us we can live truly on a daily basis. 

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Belle
5 hours ago, Jackie C. said:

I still say your resonance is more important than pitch when you're speaking in your female voice. That and all the little feminine markers.

And your intonation. I was watching a voice lessons video focused on pitch. The woman who was being trained looked totally cis and hot, but her voice was man-deep. The thing is, every other aspect about her speech and demeanor were 100% feminine and the deep voice only made her sound like she had a cold or emphysema. Even with the low pitch I would not have even considered she might be trans.

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Jackie C.
40 minutes ago, Belle said:

And your intonation. I was watching a voice lessons video focused on pitch. The woman who was being trained looked totally cis and hot, but her voice was man-deep. The thing is, every other aspect about her speech and demeanor were 100% feminine and the deep voice only made her sound like she had a cold or emphysema. Even with the low pitch I would not have even considered she might be trans.

 

That would be one of the feminine markers. One of the exercises I did early on was to intone everything at the right pitch until I got the hang of doing it while I was talking. My feminine voice is basically the same as my singing voice. I guess that makes me a rapper?

 

Hugs!

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ShawnaLeigh

Yea I am looking forward to finding a voice therapist and starting all this training.  The phone apps are ok but I need more positive reinforcement while training.  

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Belle

@ShawnaLeigh, I do practice some every day. Any time I am waking and nobody is near I am practicing. But even when people are meat I have been getting braver like the other day at the store.

 

I have a cold right now so I stopped practicing my voice as much, instead just paying attention to my word choices. But that's not hard for me because it turns it I never was able to get rid of my female vocabulary. Nor was I able to stop talking with my hands.  Nor was I able to start being direct rather than circular.

 

The walk has been interesting for me. I have always been deathly afraid I looked feminine. As a result I have always consciously thought about how I walk, always trying to make it manly. But it's already starting to feel comfortable for me walking like a woman. I'm not sure if I'm doing it right. My wife will probably be triggered soon if I keep going with it.

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Belle
53 minutes ago, Jackie C. said:

 

That would be one of the feminine markers. One of the exercises I did early on was to intone everything at the right pitch until I got the hang of doing it while I was talking. My feminine voice is basically the same as my singing voice. I guess that makes me a rapper?

 

Hugs!

How do you figure out the notes to use?

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Jackie C.

Here's a thing you can do to build up the right muscles: It's silent so you can do it whenever you like. First, swallow. Feel what your muscles are doing (use room temperature water if you need some help). Once you've got that, swallow but don't release the muscle. Keep everything high and tight in your throat. You CAN breathe while you do this but it takes some practice. Hold it for as long as you can, but don't strain yourself. Work on increasing the length of time you can maintain tensing the muscles. It helps increase your stamina when you're speaking.

 

Have fun!

 

Hugs!

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Jackie C.
39 minutes ago, Belle said:

How do you figure out the notes to use?

 

The goal is an A, about 220 MHz as a baseline. I can't do an A. Well, I CAN, but I have to go into falsetto to do it. Falsetto doesn't sound natural so I speak on a G sharp. That's just a little under my break zone. One of the feminine markers (and one I already did naturally) is going up and down when you speak. Basically you do your best. Rising and falling as seems appropriate for what you're trying to say. It also helps if you interject the occasional high note when you're speaking for emphasis, but use that sparingly. It sounds ridiculous if you do it all the time.

 

Part of voice training involves figuring out what YOUR female voice is. We all talk a little differently and use the markers in a manner that's personal and unique to us.

 

Personally, it always floors me when I meet a trans-woman who just uses her guy voice. I met a couple in group though. I get that it's a personal choice, but it seems lazy to me. It also seems like it would be borrowing trouble. Then again, my goal is to pass as best I can and get on with living my life as a woman. Others might have different priorities.

 

Hugs!

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Belle
49 minutes ago, Jackie C. said:

Here's a thing you can do to build up the right muscles: It's silent so you can do it whenever you like. First, swallow. Feel what your muscles are doing (use room temperature water if you need some help). Once you've got that, swallow but don't release the muscle. Keep everything high and tight in your throat. You CAN breathe while you do this but it takes some practice. Hold it for as long as you can, but don't strain yourself. Work on increasing the length of time you can maintain tensing the muscles. It helps increase your stamina when you're speaking.

 

Have fun!

 

Hugs!

This is excellent Jackie! One question: addy which point during the swallow? There's king if the "top" of the swallow where everything inside is pushed outward, including the parts on top going upwards. Is that it? If so, do we hold all the muscles or just the ones at the top? Also,  at the top of the swallow my nasal passages are closed. So I guess we just ignore that muscle so we can breathe? 

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Belle

I hate auto correct on my phone... typos bother me and sometimes I forget to proofread my posts 😖

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Jackie C.
42 minutes ago, Belle said:

This is excellent Jackie! One question: addy which point during the swallow? There's king if the "top" of the swallow where everything inside is pushed outward, including the parts on top going upwards. Is that it? If so, do we hold all the muscles or just the ones at the top? Also,  at the top of the swallow my nasal passages are closed. So I guess we just ignore that muscle so we can breathe? 

 

Just like that. Hold it at the top of the swallow. Keep everything tense. You can breathe while you do it, but like I said: It takes some practice. I couldn't for WEEKS until I figured out the trick. You need to move it forward a little so your nasal passages are clear to pass air. You might have some trouble right now because you're congested.

 

Hugs!

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Belle
50 minutes ago, Jackie C. said:

You might have some trouble right now because you're congested.

 

Hugs!

LOL, yes I am swallowing every five seconds when I'm trying this. 

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Belle

Should the sides of the tongue be curved upward touching the top teeth? That does make a difference in the sound but it feels weird. 

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Jackie C.

You're just halfway through a swallow. There shouldn't be any sound. Usually, my jaw is pretty loose and my tongue is touching my upper jaw a little behind my teeth. It's not curved, but it is flexed. 

 

My voice coach always advises caution if you're congested. Never strain and either yawn, sigh or drink some room temperature water if you're feeling tired or just want to cool down a little. Also face massages, but those are harder to do when there are people about. They're wonderful, but people will think you're a lunatic.

 

Hugs!

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ShawnaLeigh
3 hours ago, Jackie C. said:

Here's a thing you can do to build up the right muscles: It's silent so you can do it whenever you like. First, swallow. Feel what your muscles are doing (use room temperature water if you need some help). Once you've got that, swallow but don't release the muscle. Keep everything high and tight in your throat. You CAN breathe while you do this but it takes some practice. Hold it for as long as you can, but don't strain yourself. Work on increasing the length of time you can maintain tensing the muscles. It helps increase your stamina when you're speaking.

 

Have fun!

 

Hugs!

Whoa.  That’s helpful thank you!

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Cheyenne skye

I won't go into anything voice related. But as far as mannerisms:  at first I thought I needed to teach myself a new way to walk, move, sit etc. But now I think it's more about unlearning everything I knew about acting like a man and just let myself be who I really am. 

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