Feb 23, 2009

Cross Dressing, The Feminine Voice and Passing – Part 1

Physically, I am not a big man. When shopping for trousers I have been encouraged on more than one occasion to perhaps look in the boys section and see if the husky teen line would work out for me. Picture my smiling face. I believe that I have an eye for style and a sure sense of quality, whatever gender I am provisioning for and presenting in, so shopping for the drab self is not always a really happy occasion for me. Or for the Sales Assistant pointing towards the kiddie section either.

Physically, I am not a big woman either. Mediums in most things, and in fact a small here and there work well for me. An 8 ½ shoe fits, and only if the heel is higher than 3” do I really stand out as tall in a gaggle of genetic girls.

With that said, some other accidents of nature have conspired to provide me with one characteristic that simply does not set up well for deeply and happily engaging with the world en femme, and passing in the process. I have a deep and sonorous voice that projects well and effortlessly. Wags and wanna-be analysts might suggest that I overcompensated in the vocal area for the relatively meager real estate grab that my body represents. That in my own social micro-evolution I grew a great baritone flourish of feathers to obscure the boney frame concealed within. They might have something there. Who knows. Maybe they are overcompensating…

My voice has been however, for male self, a very useful adaptation. I am able to get heard, easily. This has been helpful in my life.

It’s a bit of an issue for Petra though. Yes, there are tricks. Yes, practice makes perfect, even when all we really need is passable. I simply have not made the investment, and where there is no investment, there is no dividend.

For the moment, when out en femme, I am perfectly happy to pass from a distance, to raise doubts at close range and to remove all doubt as to my working gender the very moment I open my mouth and ask if they have that perfect dress in a 6. In fact there is a part of me that relishes the moment when one has clearly outed oneself.

Yes, I am enthralled by the theatricality of public cross dressing. There is very little to match the odd combination of adrenalin and peace that comes from being out, en femme, and far from home. But after some consideration and a lifetimes worth of fantasizing about passing, a full pass is not exactly what I am after, after all. I am not entirely certain why.

As expert as I could ever become (and even with a perfectly softened and feminine voice) I will always be clockable to some degree. I am ok with that. And do you know, dear friend, that even if I could somehow pass a presentation threshold that could fool all of the people, all of the time, I am not convinced that I would want to. I believe that a full pass would that takes away part of the fun, the lure, and whole raison d’etre of cross dressing to this cross dresser. Isn’t this all supposed to feel a little seditious? Where there is no risk, where is the reward?

Additionally, do we not all hope that cross dressing was a little more accepted by society in general? If we all passed, it would be a difficult issue to give visibility to.

My voice, in short, will continue to give me away, and when it does, I hope that I am leaving behind a positive and (here is a loaded word) normal impression of cross dressers. I won’t be dogmatic though. If any of you can point me to terrific resources for feminizing the voice, it would probably save me a google or 2. Please leave your comments and suggestions here.

Part 2 – The Written Feminine Voice and Passing. Coming tomorrow.


Becky said...

I remember once hailing a London taxi and when asked "where to love?" replying in my usual male tone. The response was "wow! I thought you were a bird!" which made my night. :-)

The Crossdresser's Girlfriend said...

The whole female voice is a huge issue with Jeanie. I think it's a wonderful contradiction-I don't know if I would be as into a feminine voice but I understand-I get it. I love your thoughts on it; well written as ever.

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