Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Transgender Voice Training

What's that old line?  "It ain't over until the fat lady sings!"

Yes, this is a bad stereotype.  But opera singers go through years of intense vocal exercises in order to perfect their craft.  And tonight, I went to the Transgender voice therapist in NYC for a group session.

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I know from early morning that this would be a late day at the office.  And through I've been moving through my check list for tasks that must be completed this week, I feel that I haven't been accomplishing as much as I should be accomplishing.  Of course, I'll find out where I stand when my boss comes back to the office tomorrow morning.

After work, it was time for the transgender voice group session.  I walked over to Broadway via John Street, and then walked down Broadway to the therapist's office.  If I had given the path much thought, I'd have taken Water Street, and cut to Broadway somewhere near Wall Street.  At least I got my hour's worth of walking in today.  So I was a little bit tired when I got to the office, where there was a mix of M2F and F2M transgender folk. Today's group session was "talking softly for transgender people".  Each of us had to warm up and practice several vocal exercises.  The time went quickly.  Of course, my female voice is soft, and reasonably similar to a classic grandmother.  But it doesn't yet pass the "telephone test".  So I'll probably go to the therapist in the Fall for private sessions - which will take a bite out of my savings.

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Why do I want to go through the effort to sound female, when many transgender people don't bother to do so?  Well, to me being authentic also means sounding authentic - where people either forget that you are transgender, or never notice it at all.  This means that I have to learn how cisgender females speak, and replicate those speech patterns when I'm in Marian mode.

In one sense, it will be harder for me, as I will be playing hopscotch with gender identity.  One moment, I'll be Mario, and then I'll be Marian the next.  Luckily, I've been good at keeping these identities separate and unique.  My friends who know both sides of me are comfortable with me, no matter how I present myself.  But to others, I have to be seen as Marian without a trace of Mario to be safe....


  1. Dear Marian,

    Generally when I start reading a new blog I liked to go back to the very beginning and read through the entire blog so that I have a keener understanding of the person. Time and circumstances don't allow for that on this occasion.

    I was struck by the mixed-bag living in a large city can be. On one hand there are so many resources on your doorstep. The fact that you could walk to your voice feminization class boggles my mind. On the other hand there is the equally mind-boggling high cost of living with which you must contend, especially housing. Unless one has very deep pockets one can very easily be out on the street with months of a job termination. Perhaps you have always lived in such circumstances and can't imagine life in small town America where many of the basic services one requires are hours and many miles away. What is your perspective on where is the ideal place to live? All the best, Kati

    1. Kati -

      Reading my blog from its very beginning would take a while. But I think you'll find how I've changed over the years quite interesting. Just remember - I write an entry to post on a daily basis, and I recommend no more than a month's worth of entries at one sitting.

      Where do you live? I live in the suburbs outside NYC, and I have a very low monthly nut because I paid off my mortgage almost 20 years ago. It helps that I didn't overbuy during the real estate boom. One woman I dated thought I was crazy not to go "all in" with real estate (she was a broker on the side), and time has proven my instincts right.

      My ideal place to live is influenced by several factors. My late wife and I loved San Francisco. Sadly, apartments there are way out of my financial reach. Also, the city has changed for the worse, now that "Silicon Valley" has moved to the big city. It is becoming like a little New York, but with better weather. Given my finances, I still am looking at retirement in the Pacific Northwest. The state has to be "Blue" enough to accept transgender people in their midst. But it also has to be affordable enough for me to move there. And that rules California out.