By Sherry Greer
August 1st was my last voice session of the summer. Before that Thursday took place I had an opportunity to be Sherry for an extended amount of time. On the Sunday prior I got a mani/pedi. I’ve had a few manicures but never a pedicure and it was wonderful! The nail tech who took care of me was fantastic and did a fabulous job. I usually get my finger nails rounded but let her square them off this time (another first). I wore a maxi skirt with a striped cold shoulder top! (Note to self, never wear a skirt to get a pedicure!) After leaving the salon I met the person who usually does my nails at a restaurant Kandi and I have frequented on occasion. She brought a friend and the three of us sat at the bar for an hour and a half talking about everything from makeup and hair to relationships to my voice lessons and my dressing. It is nice to know that they didn’t care what I was wearing and more than once said “Do you”. It was nice to sit there talking as three women would! Since they are younger than me they had a late night party to go to and I went home.
On Monday I got ready like I always do. I wore an outfit that my sister-in-law liked when I showed her everything. I met Natalie (I’ve mentioned her before, she is post-op) at a restaurant for brunch. The conversation was wonderful as we talked about her relationship with her boyfriend and that they are thinking about moving in together to my voice lessons and where I see myself going with my dressing. Natalie made a comment about my “breasts” and how real they looked! (I use two sets of the braless adhesive gels and a little contouring to create my cleavage). As we were sitting there I received two compliments on my top! After, the one woman added “You two ladies have a wonderful day.” I know Kandi says that she never passes and her personality helps her assimilate into the situation. I think I am developing a different mindset than hers. I want to “pass”, maybe I’m fooling myself but when the woman said you ladies have a nice day there was no “wink, wink” like you’re not fooling me I know you’re a guy in female attire. Her comment was natural and genuine. Natalie and I parted ways with a hug and me saying that I expect an invite to the wedding!
I did some shopping for a few hours going to Charming Charlie’s and a couple of malls. As I was walking in one mall I was behind a teenage boy and he stopped and held the door open for me! Another first. I made an appointment to get my real hair trimmed which is almost down to my shoulders but gray, and to get my wig washed. When the owner put my wig back on I asked her to put it in an up do because I can’t do it myself. Another first. After she finished and I looked at myself in the mirror and almost cried because I couldn’t believe that reflection was me! Gina, the owner, knew I was getting emotional and rubbed my shoulder in support. After I did some more shopping I ended up going back to the same restaurant as the night before to hopefully see me and Kandi’s favorite barmaid but she wasn’t working again.
Fast forward to August 1st and my voice session. Before going Kandi and I arranged to meet. After a little bit of texting we figured out that we were both tired of shopping so we went to breakfast and then went sightseeing. Breakfast was good along with the conversation as we sat there like any other women. After we took pictures at a mural, walked around the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and by the neighboring waterfront to take pictures. At the Cleveland sign Kandi offered to take a picture for the family who was ahead of us in line and I helped the mother get down off the sign after. The family was very grateful for our hospitality! We finished up with our pictures, walked back to the car, Kandi dropped me off at the restaurant where I left my car. We said our goodbyes, she went home and I went to my voice session.
I had a few extra minutes so I ran into a Dollar Store to get some elastic hair ties and some nail polish. Any interaction I had with people I didn’t detect any strange looks. Again, maybe I’m only fooling myself… As I walked into the waiting area, a young boy was waiting with his grandmother. The boy appeared tired and I told Grandma that it looked like he played a lot this morning. Jannis called me in a few minutes later. As we walked back to the room a couple of people were in the hall so I had to squeeze by them and Jannis commented that I did it in a very feminine way. In the room she noticed my pedicure and how the pink polish matched my skirt. She said her and the doctor were talking and have seen a tremendous improvement in my feminine deportment and nonverbal communication. We quickly went through the warm-up exercises and got to the resonant voice therapy. We talked about how we were both sad that this was the last session. We both feel like we have gained a friend and we are both so so happy to have met each other. I showed her some pictures of my day and we took a few pictures with one another. At the end of the session we gave each other a big hug and said our goodbyes and that she would stop by the fall sessions. I will miss her. She wanted to read all of the blogs so I sent them all to her along with our picture. After reading them, she sent me an email saying they were perfect just like me! I know I’m not perfect but the kind words make me smile.
So…here I am at the end of this “miniseries”. If you recall I named it Sherry’s Voice for two reasons, one was obvious to improve my female voice and the other was to represent all of us in a positive light since Jannis had no previous experience with our community. I think I have succeeded with both of those, my voice is certainly more feminine (still a ways to go) and Jannis has a wonderful opinion of me and us! A couple of things that I didn’t anticipate was how much more confident I am and how my nonverbal communication and overall feminine deportment has improved. One aspect of this experience scares me and this is a third reason for Sherry’s Voice. My dressing is like an addictive drug, it seems the more I dress, the more I want to dress. I hear my inner “voice” calling out and don’t know if I want or can listen to it. Thank you to all of you who have commented, I appreciate your support, we all need that. Any comments would be appreciated. Hope you like the pictures.