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In the News

I don’t know if it’s just because I am more aware of it, but there does seem to be a lot more media coverage about transgender issues and Gender Identity in the mainstream media at the moment.

Tonight at 9pm on BBC Radio1, Stephanie Hirst is a guest on Aled’s Surgery and will be discussing Gender Identity issues.

Meanwhile, there are several articles published today on Conversion Therapy – the idea that you can “cure” people of homosexuality or transgenderism.
BBC Newsbeat reports that “NHS staff [have been] told to stop helping patients get gay conversion therapy” (for non-UK readers, the NHS is the National Health Service), whilst the Huffington Post has an article today entitled “It’s Time to Ban ‘Reparative Therapy’

Last week the Daily Telegraph published an article about Voice Therapy entitled “Transgender women often want to sound like Fiona Bruce“, which is about the work of Christella Antoni. Christella is the Voice Coach that I have been using – in fact I’m seeing her this Saturday.

 

Posted by on 14th January 2015 in In the News, Transgender

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Llamas in wellies

On Saturday I went up to London again for another Voice Coaching session, only this time it was a group session rather than one-to-one.

I was due to meet a friend for lunch beforehand. I had a rotten journey up and was pretty late, and then we found everywhere very busy for food. We got seated at a restaurant but after 10 mins of not even having our drink order taken, and with me already fast running out of time, we decided to bail and go to a nice coffee shop that she knew, and even they had slow service. To cut a boring story shorter, pretty much everything conspired to make me late – the service, walking to the wrong tube station as we hadn’t realised there was another one on the same line that was nearer, tube train delays, and everything. But it worked out ok in the end as I arrived merely 10 mins late and they hadn’t started yet.

The 2 hour session went very well and I was very encouraged by my progress. We had a few giggles, not least a game of “My gran went to the market and she bought…” that got up to 12 items. My contributions were “a banana” and “two pairs of wellies for her pet Llama” which raised a bit of a laugh.
There were 6 of us (plus the coach), so for part of the time we broke into pairs for conversation training. One pair managed to get into an argument about cables, of all things, and thereafter every time someone made reference to that it set them off again. So we didn’t do that. Much.

I think I’ll definitely go back and do the next group session next month. Not only did I find it useful, and also encouraging, but the social aspect of it was nice too.

 

Posted by on 9th December 2013 in Diary, Social, Transgender

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Deeper Underground

Notting Hill Gate

Yesterday I went up to London for another Voice Therapy lesson. As usual, I drove to Hammersmith and parked up, then jumped on the tube from there to continue the journey. It works well for me as I know the Hammersmith area and also the street parking is free on the weekend.

I got to my appointment with  plenty of time to spare, and the lesson itself went very well indeed. I can really feel and hear the beginnings of a change in my voice. We still have a way to go, of course, but there are encouraging signs. Having said that, when she recorded me and played it back I totally cringed and thought I sounded awful and camp, but she reassured me that this is normal and just part of the transition.

After that, I walked down to Oxford Street as I needed a replacement MAC eyebrow pencil, and I know there is a MAC outlet in Selfridges. Gosh it was busy in there! You could barely move for people. I managed to snag an assistant to find the correct pencil (as I’d forgotten to bring the old one with me), and then queued for ages to have it fetched for me and to pay. I have to say they were a little disorganised and had only one girl on the tills with loads of other assistants seemingly milling around at random. I realise that the tills aren’t very interesting, but in order to get customers’ money you have to give them the opportunity to pay. Certainly I seriously considered just leaving it as the wait got longer and longer, but I stuck with it and got my eyebrow pencil and also a white eyeliner pencil. Total cost of ¬£27. Ouchies.

After that I wandered round Selfridges for a little more, ending up in the food hall because I knew there is a branch of Yo! Sushi there. Another long wait in a queue, made all the more frustrating by the fact I was on my own and could see at least two single seats at the bar. Eventually a member of staff realised the same thing and called me out of the queue to one of them.

Following the sushi, I looked for the loos in Selfridges and eventually found them in the basement (I thought that it was a requirement to have toilets near to eating facilities? Evidently I’m wrong on that), took one look at the enormous queue and thought “I’ve just about bloody had enough of queueing in this bloody shop” and decided to hold on.

Emerging onto Oxford Street into light rain and full pavements, I decided I had had enough of all this and just wanted to go home. So I hopped onto the tube at Bond Street to make my way back to Hammersmith. This was a poor choice of tube station as it put me on the Central line. But I figured that I could hop onto a District, Circle or Picadilly train and get across that way. So I changed at Notting Hill Gate (which was where I took the photo) but once on the train realised it wasn’t going to Hammersmith and I had to change again at Earl’s Court. But finally I got myself to Hammersmith.

By now I was completely fed up, so made my way to the car, tired and footsore, and drove home.

 

Posted by on 18th August 2013 in Diary, Out & About, Shopping

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Voice Coaching

I’m so excited! This weekend I made an appointment with a Voice Coach in London who specialises in Transgender issues! She’s going to help me find a more feminine voice for when I’m in girl mode.

I have an acquaintance who is a trans-woman who has had extensive training from this Coach and has the most amazing voice. When I spoke to her on the phone she was utterly, utterly convincing. I’m not expecting similar miracles for myself as I don’t live full-time in girl mode. My aim is more along the lines of developing a mostly-convincing voice that I can switch between. Even if it is merely good enough to make people think “is she or isn’t she?” then I’ll be happy, rather than the current situation of opening my mouth and being instantly ‘read’.

So it’s all happening this year! Weight loss, the laser hair removal, and now this. Next up is to get my ears pierced, which is something I’m actively researching at the moment.

 

Posted by on 6th July 2013 in Diary, Out & About

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