I wanted to highlight this change, on testosterone, because I’ve vacillated so much over time, and it seems worth noting. Initially, this was the thing I feared the most. It’s one of the changes that happens early on, is irreversible, and is most noticeable. I wanted to avoid it all together, partially because I wasn’t ready to come out beyond what I was comfortable with (my community and friends). I didn’t want this change to “out me” before I was ready. Also, I didn’t want to tip the gender balance – I wanted to be, over-all, androgynous and not definitively masculine in any way.
When I was on a low dose of Androgel (for over 2 years), I successfully kept things right where I wanted them. Then I went off T completely for a while, and in that time, I started DJing for a community radio station. I didn’t like listening back to my shows at first, so I just didn’t. They felt cringe-worthy. Eventually I started listening, and improving, and switching things up. I started to find my voice, suuuuuuper gradually.
About a year in, I was ready to plunge into T-injections and all the changes that may come along with that, including my voice dropping. I had already come out with family and at work and had changed my name legally, so those things were no longer road-blocks.
It was a bizarre and largely private thing to go through. I don’t talk all that much in my daily life, to begin with, so it was a lot of testing out the changes, daily, in my car alone. And then also the radio show, weekly. I know there were times when my voice cracked, but I haven’t listened back, specifically, for that. I’m sure I could find those moments, in the archives, if I really wanted to. But I don’t! Haha.
Fast forward, and I am super satisfied with my voice as it is now. I have a hard time relating to how tortured I felt about it in the past. Along with increased confidence and comfort with my body and my place in the world, my voice just feels natural. It also just feels so much easier to find words, to converse in all sorts of situations, and to be more out there. It is awesome in so many ways.
In preparing for my 100th radio show, I did go back to those first few shows and listened to them probably for the first time. And they WERE totally cringe-worthy, haha. My voice was stilted and stiff; I sounded so unsure of myself. I did a cool thing where I isolated some of the sound clips from those early shows, and then I played them live, on my 100th show. Here’s me, talking about lunch over the course of a handful of shows, before T-injections, and then me interjecting over top of that – you can really notice the change in my voice that way! Also my best friend was there in the studio – she’s the third voice on this track:
I’ve had the ability to hear my voice played back to me a whole lot, lately. For the past 4 months, I’ve been doing a weekly radio show, and this going to be ongoing for a long time. At first, I didn’t want to listen to the recordings at all. Then for a while, I was scrutinizing every little sound: I keep inhaling too sharply, I keep enunciating strangely, it’s not masculine enough (that’s a big one) etc. … By now, I’ve started to accept my “radio voice” for what it is, but I’m still thinking of ways to improve at the same time.
Last week, my spouse and I worked together to produce a “Special Gay Edition” of my regular show, and we both talked together, which was really fun. We used the word “gay” instead of “queer” or “LGBTQ+” because of the era: I normally play music from the late 70s and 80s (punk, post punk, new wave, goth, weird stuff), so we put together a set list from that time period and researched the musicians. Here’s the result! (Edited slightly for anonymity.)
Here’s the playlist:
Culture Club – Miss Me Blind
Fred Schneider and the Shake Society – Monster
Klaus Nomi – Total Eclipse (live)Joan Jett and the Blackhearts – Cherry Bomb
Husker Du – Find Me
Wayne County and the Electric Chairs – Thunder
Wendy and Lisa – Waterfall
Sinead O’Connor – I Want Your (Hands on Me)
Bronski Beat – Smalltown Boy
Grace Jones – Warm Leatherette
Tom Robinson Band – Glad to be Gay
And just a quick note about blogging: for the first time since I started this blog, I’m finding myself way behind on reading others’ blogs – like about a week behind. It doesn’t feel like I can catch up at this point, and I’m not sure if this lag is ongoing or just a blip. Either way, I’m still around and I still want to know what’s going on with everyone! I’m just finding myself more immersed in music, which is proving to be really time consuming! Ultimately, it’s enjoyable – I had been going through a very long lull where music didn’t seem important to me anymore. I’m glad music matters.
Thank you to tsoi hawk and rimonim for including me in the Liebster Awards. This award uses a chain-mail technique in order to connect more writers together and create an opportunity to get to know each other a little better. Many of us write continuously, sometimes constantly about one or two topics, and we never really get a sense of who the author is!
I was stalling for a while about this post, because while I love the spirit of this award, I do not love the pressure and obligation to follow the rules and not break the chain! I am a notorious chain breaker. You wanted to send me a recipe/list of books/favorite quote/etc. and a list of 6 more people to forward my own recipe/books/quotes/etc. on to? Bad choice; those people never saw anything about it! But I figured, why not try this one, even if I don’t follow everything we’re supposed to do.
So, here’s a modified version, I guess.
Some blogs I’ve really been enjoying lately:
And a favorite blog, that, sadly, appears to now be an archive:
If I linked to your blog, and you wanna follow all the rules, click here for more info about the Liebster Award. If you don’t wanna do it at all, that’s OK too.
Some random facts about me:
– I know all of Tom Petty’s greatest hits by heart. This is not indicative of my musical tastes. I just had the cassette tape growing up. (I do still love it.)
– What’s on my iPod right now: albums by Bauhaus, Daft Punk, DJ Shadow, Maps, RJD2, Skinny Puppy, Sleigh Bells, The Roots, Wolf Parade. This is slightly more indicative of my musical tastes. I listen to my iPod every single work-day, for probably 4-6 hours.
– I’m going to hear back in a couple of weeks whether my proposal for a radio show will be accepted. I’ll most likely be a radio DJ starting this fall!
– One of my favorite pastimes is brewing kombucha.
It is a delicious, healthy alternative to soda. It is awesome! You can buy it in stores, but it is $$$. You can make it at home for super super cheap. It’s basically just black tea (or any tea, but black is best) and processed, white sugar. Plus the weird flesh-colored disk called a Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast (SCOBY). You have to acquire one of those.
– We have a pet dwarf rabbit named Grey Bunny. She is 12 years old!
That’s about all I got for right now.