I have not worked on my voice, as I probably should, as I fear I will come through as faking it. I usually speak softly and perhaps raise pitch a bit. I generally presume my voice is the reason I am clocked. But I asked a lady once, whose profession is teaching fashion and design, after getting to know her, whether she realized I was a guy immediately and, if not, what the tells were. She said it took a bit to figure me out. The main giveaways were my build and hands, stuff I could hardly do anything about. I asked whether the voice was not a key tell. She surprised me by saying no, many women have masculine voices. So while I am often “Ma’amed”, and it is clear that in many cases that it is because i have passed, I never know it is just out of politeness and am left wondering why it seems immediately clear to many (perhaps not most)- waiters, store clerks, fast-food clerks, and such, that I am a “sir”.
I’m sure many of us would like to know what gives us away and how we could improve. Does anyone have suggestions for how we might politely inquire what the giveaway is when misgendered and what reactions people have had to questions posed to learn the truth? How often is our voice the key tell?