dariaphoebe: (redhead)
My day had started 14 hours before, in another city. My ex delivered me to the airport, and I worked while having a modest breakfast before boarding for the first leg. Hours later, as the second air hop ended, I found myself looking out over the oldest city park in the country before touching down for a slightly rough landing on runway 4 right.

Just before arriving in the church where I now sat, we'd tromped across that very same park. We'd been a few minutes later than had been intended, but our seats together midway back in the center were certainly fine, and the acoustics and layout had worked very well for the first half of the concert.

As the lights were about to drop, I opened the program and looked over the numbers we'd hear for the final half. The show was the inaugural public performance of only the second transgender choir in the country, one featuring voices more often scorned than celebrated.

One of the performers stepped up, having felt they were off a bit at an earlier solo, and nailed it on the second go. The explanation from the director was one noting that how you hear yourself can be skewed over a testosterone-fed voice change. The problem was all too familiar: the gender biography I shared with my therapist had indeed called out that very point in my own history as a rough one.

No emotional respite followed as we rejoined the program for the next number. My feelings flowed just as the words did, like endless rain into a paper cup, as the chorus put their all into their rendition of the song. When they hit the refrain, I softly whispered along. The irony of the line I'd sung so often while trying to redevelop the voice I missed was that in spite of what protestation I found myself vocalizing, my world had, and seemed bound to continue, changing. Perhaps nothing else was doing it. Maybe it was me, right along.
dariaphoebe: (redhead)
As we chatted, she introduced her son to me. I remembered when he was born. "This is my friend Daria." I said hello and he said some things I didn't quite hear. "You lost him with your voice, " she told me. I already knew.

We were visiting a brewery which had just opened. I was there to support a friend. She was there to support a neighborhood business. We were united in purpose even if the reasons were not quite the same. On that day, I turned 41. I took a break from preparing for the barbecue we'd be having to sample some of the new brews which had just showed up in Mount Lebanon, and wished I'd biked there. I knew I'd see people I knew, and honestly it wasn't a surprise that I ran into any of the 25ish people I knew there before I collected some beer and brewed ginger ale to share and fled in the direction of home. For a child he was very well behaved for an afternoon at a crowded brewery. Of course, he'd done the dance before. I knew he had.

He was not the first to be thrown by the voice. I have 2 problems. One is the voice. The other is the (lack of) hair. I wished my upbringing had been a little different. I also wished I'd asked the right questions sooner, My own glands had poisoned my hair away and given me a deep, throaty voice that I never knew what to do with, never adapted to or wanted to. Neither has an obvious simple solution. They're just my burdens to bear.

Later that day, a second friend offered me a ponytail of her hair. A wig takes 3. I'm almost there. And I found a plausible voice training app. I am so close I can taste it (and it tastes like the chalky, sweet flavor of my testosterone suppressant).

Step 37: Jethro Tull may have been right. Nothing is easy. But then, nothing worth having ever was.

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dariaphoebe

May 2017

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