Vocal Transgender Presentations

Photo from the Jessie
Hart Archives.

 As  most of you know, I am a transgender veteran. This morning I went to the Veterans Administration local clinic to have them take blood for my latest upcoming appointments. Not so long ago, at the same clinic  I seemingly always faced someone who would mis-gender me. I was always infuriated and dejected for two reasons. The first of which I was not presenting well enough as a woman to get by and/or why should it all be on me and my transgender status to be accepted. It became up to the VA. 

I said exactly that to anyone who would listen at the VA. At least in the clinic I go to someone seemingly listened because the clinic has not mis-gendered me once in the last couple of times I have been there. Plus, others in the system have taken the pronoun usage such as "Sir" out of their vocabulary all together. 

Furthermore, this morning my voice once again had a chance to play a bigger role in my presentation because the clinic is still requiring facial masks to get in and be looked at. So, it was up to my voice to carry the day since most of my face was covered up. As far as my voice is concerned, I feel at it's best, it's borderline feminine. In my past I have taken vocal lessons to improve my voices feminine qualities and I do my best to remember what I was taught. It was an easy fix this morning because my technician was so chatty to begin with and started out the conversation with the proper pronouns. I didn't have to do anything but give my blood for the lab tests and I was free to use the exit through the waiting room so everyone could look at me. 

This morning, no one barely raised their head to look at me which is a good thing. So I removed my mask and headed back out to my car through the heavy rain we have been having. But...

Overall I still need to work harder on my voice. One of these days I am going to have to gather my courage to talk to my wife Liz about what she thinks about it. I look at the whole vocal process as putting on the finishing touches to any feminine gender presentation. It's a shame when we transgender women work so hard on our appearance from head to toe, to have it all destroyed when we open our mouths. I know there are many inexpensive tutorials around on line to improve vocal presentations. Many have to do with inflection and how you form your voice in your upper body. My training came through the VA and was very helpful in a short period. 

As with seemingly anything else these days, there are ways around any problem on the internet. I will probably seek out more help when and if I begin interacting with the public more. It's called having your voice and using it too.