Saturday, 13 June 2015

Phone experience

Its been over three and a half years now since I transitioned. Back then one of my biggest worries wasn't people figuring out I was transsexual when they saw me in the street, it was a concern but I knew that the majority of people would take me for a woman because I made sure to give them enough visual clues so that if they suspected they would still go with what they were seeing.

No my biggest worry was talking on the phone as people would only have my voice to go on. That's changed now, but its a change that's crept up on me.

Over the last few weeks I've found myself dealing with a variety of people. We have had so many items delivered to the house that I've probably now met everyone of the delivery drivers for one company that covers our town. On some days I've had them turn up and I've had make-up on, other days I've been without it. Every single time I've picked up no negative impression from them. One guy who was delivering some things for my son had never delivered to our particular part of town and we ended having a chat about this while he was handed over the delivery.

On another occasion we'd pop out to get some shopping and as it was lunchtime decided to grab a bite to eat in Subways. As we sat there I noticed the odd glance from people but then I was doing the same myself so nothing out of the ordinary. I did, however, notice the lady in one group glance my way and then start saying something to the rest of her group, grinning as she did so. Reaction noticed and dismissed on my part.

Its the phone that has surprised me though.

Last week the phone rang and I answered it. The guy on the other end wanted to speak to me but used my old name. After telling him that the person he wanted to talk to wasn't around I asked what it was about. The response was that their records showed that I (as in the old me) had been involved in an accident in the last two years. Now as I changed my name before that and updated all the details to do with my car well before that period any accident would have been in my name. I told the chap that wasn't correct and he apologized, said they would update their system and explained that he was surprised because their system was usually very accurate (how can it be when they have the wrong name). It was a very polite call and the call ended quite pleasantly.

The other evening our central heating boiler stopped working and so I rang to arrange for an engineer to come out. I gave all the details about our house and the problem and arranged for someone to come the following day. It wasn't until I put down the phone that I realised that the guy on the other end of the phone has consistently referred to me as Miss throughout the call.

Yesterday I had to rearrange opticians appointments for both my wife and son, because we are going to be in Bristol in hospital. I gave the details of the appointments and agreed new dates and times with the assistant. At the same time I decided to book a contact lens check-up for myself as I'd had a reminder in the post. The girl on the phone made the booking and then repeated the details back to me. Appointment for my son at this time. Eye test and contact lens check-up for me at this time. Er, no. the eye test is for my wife (referring to her by name and not by marital status to the girl), contact lens check is for me, giving my name. Brief apology and appointment updated. She'd mistaken me for my wife, which can only mean that finally after all this time my voice has changed sufficiently so that it I sound like a woman even on the phone.


I do know that my voice has changed somewhat. On my laptop are some recordings I've take over the last few years for comparison and the change is noticeable. My latest recordings were taken last week. When I replayed some of the recordings I noticed that my voice was hovering quite close, if not slightly higher, around the frequency that I'd been told that I needed to try and shift my voice up to. There were very few of the large drops in frequency that occurred in the early recordings.

I do need to put a bit more effort in so that I really am comfortable with the way I sound. Some daily practice is called for over the next few months. Still its nice to know that I've reached the point where I can talk to someone without giving them visual clues as to my gender and they will respond to me as a woman.

And a bit more music. Half way through the set of playlists.

Eva Cassidy -- You Take My Breath Away

The Commitments - Try A Little Tenderness

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