In my last blog entry I was concerned about the negative impact of social media and how it causes me a degree of anxiety. in me. The other side of social media can be illustrated by how I have been able to start working on improving my feminine voice. I follow various transgender sites and on two of them I found a recommendation for a speech therapist who amongst her repertoire include voice feminisation. Previously I had seen “names” who specialised in this area with transgender clients and who seemed to be really expensive. Sometimes, I feel that people take advantage of a minority group and the fact that to get speech therapy under the NHS is rather like trying to locate a hen’s tooth even if you survive the waiting lists to be referred anyway.
However, I have become tired of being “Sired” on the phone despite my best efforts. I find it quite demoralising. I had been working with an App for a while and according to its assessment, my voice was 98/100% in the feminine range when reading out the various pieces. Clearly not a view shared by the general public.
Having seen the references, I contacted the lady in question, Louise Milner Smith. The recommendations came from the Gender GP and from Steph’s Place. Louise offered a free initial assessment and discussion as to what would be entailed so I thought what was there to lose.
I was really impressed with her and her approach. There was no bullshit it was put bluntly all technical stuff about which she clearly knew what she was talking about. The idea of having to give your vocal chords a “work out” to retain them, give them stamina, teaching you to breathe differently so that the breath you use for your feminine voice comes from your chest and not the lower diaphragm were all news to me. My voice was my voice, surely I just had to raise the pitch and find a way to maintain it.
Well that was a mistake. I was suitably impressed that Louise knew what she was doing that I signed up for a few weeks to see how it went. I have now had two sessions following the initial assessment. I have been so surprised how Louise has already made a real difference. The exercises she has designed, which start with retraining the way you breathe and are then followed by various sounds before you even say a word have already made a significant difference. The initial exercises carried out in a whisper for only five minutes at a time are designed to increase the strength and stamina of the vocal chords. It is so simple yet so effective. Louise describes the 5 minute workout as equivalent to a one hour cardio workout.
There is still a long way to go, however I know this is going to work and I look forward to being referred to as “Madam” when on the phone in the future.