7 months of hard work later it finally happened. After all the doubt, and struggle, and practice the moment came this morning when he uttered those four magical words, “What’s Your Name Ma’am?”.
When I heard those words my heart soared. Now, for those of you who have followed my journey for a while you may know that I’ve been full-time for three months now (to the day, actually), and have been blessed to be referred to as ma’am many times. This time was different. This time I didn’t have the benefit of clothes, or makeup or feminine movement. It was just my voice over the phone. No name, no context, just a disembodied voice traveling through hundreds of miles of phone line.
And it passed.
Feminine Voice Over The Phone
I had been ma’am’d over the phone before, but this time was different. Very different. Before it was a fluke, a twist of circumstance and wrenching effort to produce a sound that was not myself. This time it was me. The voice I use every day. It was the phonic expression of who I was.
Getting here wasn’t easy, and there is still more work ahead for me. Over the last few months I have noticed a difference. First there would be no gender given until I said my name, as if they were reluctant to make a mistake. A few weeks later I would notice a tangible sense of relief when I said my name, as if they were almost certain, but not quite certain enough. The penultimate touch was on the rare occasions I needed to use my former name in wrapping up some old affair or another, and still no gender was forthcoming.
Blessed By Those Who Teach Us
Next to leaving my wife, learning to speak in a feminine voice has thus far been the hardest part of my journey. I’ve literally spent hours a week humming and buzzing and vocalizing everything from inane noise to snippets of everyday phrases. I could not have got this far without an excellent tutor, in Sandy Hirsch. If you live in the Seattle area I highly recommend you give her a call, she can work wonders! She also does tutoring over Skype if you’re out of the area. She’s worked with hundreds of transgender clients and everyone I know has had a good experience with her.
So What’s The Secret Of Feminine Voice?
This deserves an entire post in itself, but if you just remember three things, remember:
- Resonance: Keep your resonance light, your voice forward with plenty of breath support. Lift, ‘eeify’ your vowels and keep the energy forward, not deep in your throat or chest.
- Pitch: An average pitch of G3 or A3 (220 Hz) is recommended, however despite what you may think, pitch is probably the least important aspect of feminine voice.
- Sparkle: When women speak they tend to lift their pitch much higher for a syllable or two in a sentence. This gives the ‘sing-song’ effect that is both very pleasing and feminine. The sparkle is dastardly difficult to master. Too high is not right, too quick seems artificial, too slow and you seem as if you’re speaking in falsetto. I’m definitely still working on my sparkle 🙂
How To Free Your Feminine Voice
I strongly recommend you work with someone who can help you develop your feminine voice and give you feedback along the way. Sandy is great (really really!). If you prefer a self study course, Kathe Perez has a good voice feminization training course that will get you started.
I’d love to hear, tell me your story of voice feminization. What worked, what didn’t, and what do you still struggle with?
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