Thursday, June 25, 2015

In Retrospect, A Few Take-Away Thoughts...

Some Take-Away thoughts about my vacation

Despite my own biggest shortcomings (voice issues, a bit of a weight problem,  and a lack of feminine curves), people tend to mind their own business, simply accepting me for what I appear to be.  If they didn't...and if there were constant hassles, these excursions would be much less fun.

Being dressed in women’s clothes was not a problem…  They look and feel fabulous, and are cool in the summer.  And most importantly, nobody cared what I was wearing...

When out and about en femme, we (collectively) can’t easily change presentation.  So if you get "cold feet," or feel a little self-conscious, why not just go on about your business and forget about what you're wearing?   Don’t even think about it.  You’ll be fine, as long as you follow safety precautions for women while you're out and about, particularly important after dark.

Through many of my vacation experiences, I “dressed the part" of a woman.  And I initially attempted (once again) to change my voice to a more feminine sound.  As usual, it wasn’t effective...if I raise my voice to a higher pitch, which admittedly sounds more believable, it cracks after a few words or sentences, depending on how much or how loudly I try to talk.  That leads to coughing, in "boy tones" of course,  which are more noticeable (and sound worse) than the boy voice I’m trying to disguise.  So when the occasion calls for an all-day skirted excursion, with repetitive speaking,  I just talk in a slightly softer normal voice, and avoid the coughing.  But it's clear that I definitely need voice coaching/training.  

Maybe someday…   

It didn’t seem to outwardly affect anyone that a lady (who was yours truly) was speaking with a deep voice.  They may have wondered about it silently, but were tactful enough to ignore it.  One of the females on the train sounded every bit as ‘masculine’ as I do.  (Could it possibly  be????   Naaahhh.)  Some women just have deeper voices than others.  So I guess beauty is in the eye (or ear) of the beholder….   

Those folks at the restaurant in NYC and the insensitive girl at the Queen Mary were most likely intentionally being nasty.  While I plan to continue to improve my presentation, I don’t think I’ll stress too much, over their (not so implied) criticisms.

I try my best to avoid restroom issues.  Despite the fact that "Bathroom Bills" failed in the 5 states where they were debated this legislative season, this really can be a complication for many of us girls who still aren't comfortable commingling with ladies in the loo.   In my own case, beginning the day with a touch of dehydration helped...dehydration as in omitting the large glass of orange juice and "cuppa Joe" with breakfast (caffeine works as a serious diuretic on me, as it does with many others as well...) 

On trains, with their unisex washrooms, using the toilet wasn’t a problem, nor was it at the meeting (private office and restrooms) or at either hotel.  In androgynous mode, the men’s room was appropriate. And, this time around, at least, I wasn't challenged by any men in the men's room (though it has happened on occasion…)  

In the Amtrak lounge at LA, I only used the women’s room in a skirt once.  I simply “held it till the lady passengers in the lounge cleared out once the next train boarded,” then proceeded to visit the now-empty women's room.  I used the men’s room there in a skirt once, too, right after I got back from my walk.  There were several women lined up outside the women’s room, and I needed a toilet imminently.  I didn’t meet anyone – the men’s room was empty.  I didn’t want any trouble…and didn’t have any.  (Surprisingly, no ladies followed me out of the ladies' room line and into the men's room.  Go figure.)

My clip-on earrings just aren’t comfortable.  Since getting my ears pierced at this time wouldn't be practical (the home front, you know), I need better clip earrings!

I also need a better-looking wardrobe!  But that may have to wait for a while, till I recover from the bills for this trip...or find what works in my size at a thrift shop!

And lastly, I anxiously await the chance to do something grand like this again.  Time will way to predict how soon it will happen.



  1. I would not worry too much about your voice. Like you said many women, especially older smoker women, have deeper, raspier voices. I had an aunt who was a very large woman with a very deep voice. She had two daughters. Both cousins are large women with very deep voices. I believe that Caitlin Jenner has indicated that she does not plan any changes to her voice.

    I often think that being a CD opens us to the best of both worlds. As I guy in a skirt you had your choice of bathrooms. I think that the entire bathroom controversy has been overblown. Whe you gotta gotta go. Just do what nature calls for and leave others in peace.


    1. A number of years ago I was in Europe on a guided tour. A bunch of us guys from the bus were in the men's room. Women walked in, headed for the stalls, and locked the door behind them, as we watched in amazement. They did their business, came out, washed their hands (at least some of them did) and left. Those of us from the USA were extremely surprised, but one of the bilingual locals told us it happens all the time. "The line was too long for the women's room. Women take longer than men in the toilet."

      Is it likely that things have changed? While I certainly could be wrong, the basic premise hasn't changed. Women generally still take longer in the restroom than men, even if they omit washing their hands. (EEEeewwww.)

      And they never seem to put enough stalls in the women''s rooms to offset that time difference. Ergo...long lines at peak times. So, your statement is good: "When you gotta gotta go. Just do what nature calls for and leave others in peace."

      As for my voice, "it is what it is." With the minor change of speaking more softly. I will work at practicing a pitch change when alone in the car (thanks for the idea, Jen). Maybe I can build up a tolerance for it. Otherwise, I'm not going to stress over the voice issue...there are enough things to be concerned about as we move forward, and the cost of a voice coach is not in my current budget.

      Maybe someday...when "my ship comes in", and I'm at the right dock to meet it!


  2. What I have been doing for a few years now is I sing along to what's playing on the radio as I drive. I don't do it every day, or even every week, but I can tell it has helped me get my range higher, and gives me a little confidence.

    I used to practice talking to myself as I drive while recording it on my phone, rambling about whatever I'm seeing as I go. Sometimes I would practice certain phrases or replay a conversation I had had in real life in my best feminine voice.

    I also would push my falsetto as high as I could to exercise and improve my flexibility and range (think Kermit the frog). It wasn't something I could do for very long without tiring, but I think that helped me to improve the crackiness.

    My experience with voice is a little similar to getting used to walking in heels. The more you do it the easier and better it becomes. I picked up some 4 inch heels after struggling with 3 inch ones, and now the 3 inch ones are a piece of cake!

    1. Jen,

      In the past, I've tried singing along with the car radio. But I only did it for fun, not to improve my vocal range. I'll give it a try...might work for me over time!

      I stil "gotta work on those heels..." Practice is something I need, and just haven't been able to get it.


    2. Yes, it took me quite a while to feel like my voice got any more feminine :-|