Wednesday, 13 February 2008

My Fair Jenny

"The Rain in Spain Falls Mainly on The Plain"
I imagined my sessions with a Speech Therapist would have me reciting lines from My Fair Lady in some sort of high pitched but plummy voice. Yet again my expectations were to be proved to be totally wrong

Today was the third visit to my Speech Therapist. I have been refered through the Gender Identity Clinic at Charring Cross. My voice is currently the biggest hurdle I have to overcome in my ongoing battle with the world for the acceptance of me as a woman. Unfortunately I was not blessed with a remotely female sounding natural voice. I have lost count of the number of phone calls where I have thad to explain I am Jenny and not Jerry or Kenny as they perceive from my voice. Indeed I recoil when I listen back to the slurry, lazy, booming voice that was given to me. However, through this therapy I do hope to end up sounding more pleasingly feminine. Although this may be still end up sounding closer to Lilly Savage than a post Higgins Eliza Doolittle.
My Speech Therapist is fantastic and fascinating lady called Kate. She has already given me more confidence than anyone I have come across in my NHS treatment. Female sounding speech is not about just about raising the pitch. it is a subtle mix of pitch, softness and intonation. I think I am begining to grasp the principles, although my intonation at times goes up and down with all the subltlety and control of a builder's jeans waistband! It is clear I need to work harder and practice more often. So if you see me in the car reciting out loud, or practising my soft attack H words I haven't yet gone mad...Unless of course I have!

Note to friends and colleagues - If you hear my voice dropping give me a well directed kick, it may well still have the desired pitch raising effect!


brad said...

Eliza had a hard time of it with Prof. Higgins. I hope you figure it out easier than that.

"In Hartford, Hereford and Hampshire, hurricanes hardly ever happen."

Jenny Harvey said...

Cheers Brad

I will practice that


Oh dear that didn't seem very soft!