Brynn Tannehill chats with Kathe Perez about policies in the US regarding transgender people.
Brynn Tannehill is originally from Phoenix, Ariz. She graduated from the Naval Academy with a B.S. in computer science in 1997. She earned her Naval Aviator wings in 1999 and flew SH-60B helicopters and P-3C maritime patrol aircraft during three deployments between 2000 and 2004. She served as a campaign analyst while deployed overseas to 5th Fleet Headquarters in Bahrain from 2005 to 2006. In 2008 Brynn earned a M.S. in Operations Research from the Air Force Institute of Technology and transferred from active duty to the Naval Reserves. In 2008 Brynn began working as a senior defense research scientist in private industry. She left the drilling reserves and began transition in 2010. Since then she has written for OutServe magazine, The New Civil Rights Movement, and Queer Mental Health as a blogger and featured columnist.
Brynn and her wife Janis currently live in Xenia, Ohio, with their three children.
Follow Brynn Tannehill on Twitter: www.twitter.com/BrynnTannehill
Kathe S. Perez, MA, CCC-SLP
PO Box 271086
Louisville, CO 80027-5019
Kelley Winters, Ph.D. is a writer on issues of transgender medical policy, founder of GID Reform Advocates and an Advisory Board Member for the Matthew Shepard Foundation and TransYouth Family Advocates. She has presented papers on the psychiatric classification of gender diversity at the annual conventions of the American Psychiatric Association, the American Counseling Association and the Association of Women in Psychology. Her articles have appeared in Psychiatry On-Line, the Journal of Psychology and Human Sexuality, and the books, Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Controversial Issues in Sex and Gender, edited by Elizabeth Paul (2001) and Sexual and Gender Diagnoses of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), A Reevaluation , edited by Dan Karasic and Jack Drescher (2005). Kelley may be reached at email@example.com
Kelley is the author of Gender Madness in American Psychiatry: Essays from the Struggle for Dignity and a community advocate on issues of transgender medical policy. She is the founder of GID Reform Advocates, a member of the International Advisory Group for the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) Standards of Care
and an Advisory Board Member for TransYouth Family Allies. Kelley has presented papers on the psychiatric classification of gender diversity at annual conventions of the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Counseling Association and the Association of Women in Psychology. Her articles have appeared in a number of mental health journals and in two books. Kelley enjoys biking, hiking and landscape photography.
GID Reform Advocates are medical professionals, caregivers, scholars, researchers, students, human rights advocates, and members of the transgender, bisexual, lesbian and gay communities and their allies who advocate reform of the psychiatric classification of gender diversity as mental disorder.
Kathe S. Perez, MA, CCC-SLP
PO Box 271086
Louisville, CO 80027-5019
Fluency – Marvelously Mellifluous You!
When you speak, whose voice do you hear? Whose voice do others hear?
Our voices are so closely tied to the essence of who we truly are. Heart and soul and voice are one! In fact, here’s a curious little phonation fact; The left vocal cord nerve dips down into the chest, loops around the aorta, then courses back upward into the larynx. So, literally, our voices are connected to our hearts!
Fluency is the last of the “Nine Elements of an Exceptional Feminine Voice.” Let’s take a few moments and recap just what these are. You know more than anyone how difficult it is to change your voice; that’s why having a tried-and-true system makes all the difference.
The Nine Elements of an Exceptional Feminine Voice
- Pitch: The speaking pitch of the average adult male is 100-150 Hz; the speaking pitch of the average adult female is 200-250 Hz. I’ve provided many tips and strategies in other posts and YouTube tutorials to help you with this element.
- Voice Quality: The quality of the voice–whether it’s raspy, breathy, strained or weak–can provide insights to our physical health, moods and mental focus. Many transgender women produce a very feminine voice in order to sound feminine, but that’s not really an effective strategies.
- Loudness: The loudness of a voice isn’t inherently feminine or masculine. But there does seem to a shift toward a more feminine sound when the power is turned down a few notches.
- Resonance: The reverberation of sound in a medium, i.e., the throat, mouth or nose, shapes the tone into your own unique voice. Transitioning your voice requires significant re-programming of the small muscles of the throat and mouth to bring your vocal tone into a clear feminine ring.
- Articulation: There are some subtle, but important differences in the way men and women speak. Clear, crisp consonants add femininity to your expression.
- Phrasing: Studies suggest that women tend to speak in longer phrases than men. Try adding more descriptive adjectives to your expression.
- Pacing (tempo): While women tend to speak more quickly than men, it isn’t necessary to speed up your pace to sound more feminine.
- Melodic Intonation: The pitch variability of gliding up and down is a much greater range in women. Place more emphasis on certain syllables in a phrase.
- Fluency: “Smoothly flowing like golden honey” is the way I think of how a very feminine woman might speak. Speak mellifluously! Dance with your words!Fluency refers to the smooth vs choppy way you might speak. In musical terms, fluency is similar to rhythm. Rhythms may consist of a sense of easy flow (legato), which mean that notes are blended or connected. Staccato rhythms are halting or sharp.Listen to this short Bela Bartok piano piece. Pay close attention to the fluency, or connection of notes. Notice the abruptness of some of the notes compared to the flow of others.
Fluency refers to the smooth vs choppy way you might speak. In musical terms, fluency is similar to rhythm. Rhythms may consist of a sense of easy flow (legato), which mean that notes are blended or connected. Staccato rhythms are halting or sharp.
Listen to this short Bela Bartok piano piece. Pay close attention to the fluency, or connection of notes. Notice the abruptness of some of the notes compared to the flow of others.
Staccato = abrupt
Legato = smoothly flowing
Can you discern the legato vs staccato rhythm? In my (and others) observations of speakers, I hear men speak in a choppy, halting manner, whereas women speak in a smooth, flowing manner. Although women often speak quite rapidly, we do speak fluently.
ANGELINA JOLIE – *ELLEN -TAKING LIVES*PART 1 by screamingangie
Angelina Jolie is one of the most elegant and feminine women in the world (in my opinion). I love her voice and the smoothly flowing way her movements match the fluency of her voice. Notice the contrast to Ellen Degeneres, who has a more staccato style of speaking.
So, what is fluency exactly and why is it important for you as a transgender woman? It’s one of the elements that will complete you.
Three Tips to Feminine Fluency
Dance with Words
I was working on fluency with a client the other day, and out of the blue she said, “It sounds like we’re dancing with words.”
Dance with these words. Find the flow. Experience the melody. Absorb their essence.
- The rushing stream washed the soil along with it.
- The sun sank slowly and was followed by darkness and a foggy chill.
- There is another alphabet, whispering from every leaf, singing from every river, shimmering from every sky.
Those of you reading this, who know my method well, understand that one of the major practice strategies I employ is proprioception–being aware of the physical sensation/feelings of your speech and voice when you speak. Speech sounds can be categorized in several ways. For this exercise, let’s look at those consonants that we might call “stretched” consonants. Their properties allow them to stretch as you produce them, they include–s, z, sh, h, l, m, n, ng, etc. Conversely, can you think which consonants might be classified as “quick”?
Here’s a practice exercise: Cue yourself to notice the stretched consonants in these words. Then try using each word in a sentence and notice proprioceptively (the sensation of the sounds) the feeling of the stretched consonants.
Just as there are quick and streteched consonants, there are “short” and “long” vowels. Think back to your primary education; can you come up with three “short” vowels? How about three “long” vowels? In nearly all of the training routines that I provide in my voice training programs, we vocalize using these three syllables, “hee,” “haa,” and “hoo.” Each of these is a “long” vowel, which by definition, means the vowel duration and voice onset time are longer (in time) than “short” vowels, like the /I/ in the word “hit.”
Now, as an exercise: Cue yourself to stretch the “long” vowels in these words more than you normally would the consonants in these words. Then try using each word in a sentence and notice proprioceptively how the vowels feel in your mouth.
Step 10: Fluency
Bring your feminine voice into her glory. Dance with your words! Taste the sounds! Stay in touch. I’d LOVE to know how you’re doing with Step 11.
Keeping you and your voice close to my heart,