Friday is rapidly approaching and I’m wicked psyched! Despite having to haul my ass out of bed at 6AM during summer vacation, I really can’t wait. I went to my pharmacist to refill a prescription today and wanted to check to make sure they were trans-friendly, and she said that they don’t keep a lot of hormones in HRT dosages in stock since they don’t get much call for them, but they’d be happy to order in whatever I need.
I’ve also been experimenting more with my voice. For a while the best I could do was super-androgynous, but I’m starting to get much better. The first trick is to open your throat up like you’re yawning, which is how you get the proper resonance. That part I’ve got down and it’s actually starting to feel more and more natural as I use it. The next thing is to pitch it up just a tad. Too much and it sounds fake, but not enough and it’s wicked androgynous. That’s the part I’m having problems with. It takes a lot of concentration for me to keep my voice in the proper pitch range, and as I start focusing more on the conversation I forget to keep my voice pitched up and it starts to slide back into that androgynous zone. I just need to keep working on it; I’m sure the more I practice the less attention I’ll have to pay to it. Also, I’ve been trying to practice projecting, since that’s really hard to do when your throat is flexing in funny ways, but just now before writing this I was practicing and I’m getting better at being audible. Things are looking up!
Also, to all my friends who have been so supportive of me, I really want to thank you. You guys know who you are.
So the first day of class went well, but I really only had one class so it wasn’t that big of a deal. Anyway, I’ve been working on my voice for the past two hours and my vocal chords are killing me and I feel like I’m not making any progress. I naturally have a very deep, monotonous voice and it’s really difficult trying to use muscles I’m not used to using. I’ve been scouring the internet looking for more exercises that I can try but I can’t find anything for frees. Fucking bullshit. Whatever happened to transgender solidarity? You figure out the secret and decide to leave your sisters hanging. I know there are videos on t3h youtubes, but the ones I’ve seen fall into one of two categories: they give lots of advice but their voices don’t sound convincing (i.e., they sound obviously trans), or their voices sound convincing but they offer no real advice. I swear that once I figure this jazz out I’ll make a decent video and post it here for free.
I understand the basic premise of sounding feminine. Based on what I know of anatomy and audiology, it seems that the main difference between male and female voices is resonance. Basically, the voice resonates in the chest, neck, and head, all of which are usually larger in males (if I remember correctly, the male neck is three times more voluminous than the female neck). Also, male vocal chords are longer and thicker due to magic testosterone actions. So, in order to sound feminine, one essentially has to cut the volume of their neck (since it’s hard to cut the volume of the chest or head, obviously) while simultaneously tensing the vocal chords. That’s a lot of work. Especially if you’re a lazy speaker like me and like to communicate with as little muscle work as possible. (Most of the time I communicate in grunts or other monosyllabic sounds. I’m quite happy to be a native speaker of English, the laziest of all Western languages.) Anyway, understanding the basic principle is one thing, but finding a way to implement the conceptualized change is an entirely other beastie. Like I said, if I find some sort of magic bullet I’ll share it for free, but intuitively I would say that they key is just lots of dedicated, hard work.
Also, I downloaded a voice recorder app for my phone so I can record myself and listen to it for optimum analysis. Huzzah for analysis!