Friday, October 10, 2014

10-10-2014 Entry: Embarking on the Voice Feminization Journey

I feel alive, I feel refreshed, I feel like a new person! I just can’t get over how happy I am now that I’m not really hiding who I am anymore. Sure I’m not dressing in a skirt and blouse and might not be wearing makeup (yet) but I’ve stopped trying to appear male and am acting like my natural self. I’ve even started working on raising my voice, which so far has been pretty successful. I’m basically just trying to talk more from my throat and less from my chest and the results are immediately apparent. People are better able to understand what I’m saying and the more I practice it, the more naturally I can achieve the higher pitch. I’m not doing falsetto, because then I’d just sound like Mickey Mouse, but based on some videos I’ve watched of transwomen who’ve managed to change their voices, simply moving the voice up little by little until you can strengthen the muscles to use a different part of the vocal cords can be more than enough. Maybe I won’t have to do voice feminization surgery after all, but it is pretty early to know for sure.

As I wrote before, I’ve decided (with assistance of my wife) to adopt the new name of Emma. I really love this name and really feel like I could reasonably be an Emma. I haven’t decided if I’m going to keep my last name or if I’m going to adopt my wife’s maiden name (she doesn’t love our/my last name). Additionally, my new amazing friend who’s been helping me along with all of this is going to start calling me Emma, which makes me more happy than I can put into words. Finally, someone else will openly acknowledge the woman that I am. =D

All in all, I’d have to say that I’m feeling excellent today. My wife thinks it is adorable that I’m trying to raise my voice and even seems to appreciate how much easier it is for her to understand me. The fact that she is seemingly accepting me is a big milestone for me, because of all the people I’m the most afraid won’t accept me, she is at the top of that list. I am blessed to have a wonderful, loving and accepting partner.

In more recent news, I’ve decided that I’m going to paint my fingernails this weekend! I will likely only wear the polish for the duration of the weekend because I’m not ready to bring my job in on the loop of my transgender realization just yet. I feel like I’d like to talk with the gender therapist I’m scheduled to see for a few sessions before I come out at work. I probably don’t really NEED to do that, but I feel as though having the professional opinion of a therapist who specializes in transgender people would be a big plus on my side. If she concludes that I am as transgender as I believe I am (which I’m not sure how she couldn’t, but one never knows) then I will have a medical diagnosis that supports my desire to come out at work. I live in MN so there are fortunately laws preventing workplace discrimination based on gender identity, but I also live in a state where they don’t really need a reason to fire you (at-will employment) so every reassurance I can get on my side will help me avoid losing my job.

 I am quite concerned at how my employer will react to me coming out, not to mention my coworkers. I’m hoping that I can become valuable enough as an employee that they wouldn’t want to lose me and will work with me. In light of some advice I read on Tranifesto (a blog/webpage for transgender people) I plan on coming out directly to my boss and HR lady at the same time prior to coming out at work and prior to any significant physical changes. Ideally this would allow me and my employer to come to an agreement about how I’m going to come out to the rest of the company. Don’t get me wrong, I really don’t revel in the idea of all that attention, especially when much of it might be negative, but it makes sense that an employer would rather be told and permitted to negotiate some rules or expectations about how everything goes down. Since I do work at a law firm, I’m hopeful that my lawyer bosses will be aware of the anti-discrimination laws (I will probably remind them) and will strive to not risk breaking them, but I won’t know for sure until I tell them.

Anyway, that’s about all I have for today’s entry. I’m going to keep practicing my more feminine voice to strengthen the muscles and make it feel more natural and I’m going to keep being who I am, regardless of what anyone else thinks.


Love, Emma.

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