Singing in the shower

Posted by & filed under Catherine, LGBT.

For a long time, I was embarrassed about the way my voice sounds. It’s still one of the things I have the most trouble with since the great “Hey, let’s grow 8 inches taller than everyone else in our class!” debacle of my teenage years.

It’s taken me a long time, but I’m finally feeling more comfortable with my body. I actually own (and occasionally wear!) heels now. Take that, feet!

Now I’m starting to warm up to my voice as well. When I think about it, one of the biggest catalysts happened several months ago. I randomly met a group of women visiting Vancouver from Seattle — two couples a decade or so older than me. We struck up a conversation and, one of them mentioned –without any fishing on my part– that she thought I had had a great voice. The other three chimed in, agreeing that my voice was “hot” and did I sing? Oh, but I should! I’d sound great. One of them compared it to “Shane, you know, from the L Word?” This was met with agreement and much nodding.

What!? These are not sentiments I’ve often heard. Were they messing with me? No, that didn’t seem likely, given the spontaneity and apparent sincerity of their words. Sure, perhaps their comparison to Katherine Moennig as Shane was a bit of a stretch, but then again, I’ve always known that I was being just a tad insecure and self-deprecating by describing my voice as sounding like Captain Janeway as portrayed by Bea Arthur.

Days later, after I’d given their words some thought, I realized that even if their opinion isn’t one that’s broadly agreed-upon, that’s not important. What is important is the source of the sentiment: a group of seemingly successful, socially-inclined gay women. Sure, in general terms, it’s nice being told you have an attractive quality, but I know that I’ve always been far more receptive to compliments from the cute girl handing me my coffee than from some random dude as I step around him on the street.

So maybe it doesn’t matter if everyone thinks my voice is hot, so long as it’s possible that someone does. We all seek validation from others, despite mostly realizing that it’s not particularly healthy and that we should feel good about ourselves without needing someone else’s approval. Still, free compliments feel good, particularly when they come from someone unexpected. The fact that it came from several someones — several lesbian someones — made it all the more satisfying to hear.

So where does this newfound sense of not-total-loathing leave me now? I came away from the Northern Voice 2007 conference with an interest in video blogging. I’m beta testing Second Life’s upcoming voice chat system, and as I write this, I realize that I can’t remember the last time I felt anxiety about using the phone. Wow. Maybe just singing along to Dar and Ani isn’t such a far-fetched idea after all.

Sometimes, positive change happens without us even being fully aware of it. I’d like to keep that up.

(Crossposted from a comment on ChangeEverything.ca)

7 Responses to “Singing in the shower”

  1. candace

    Good for you — everyone should sing. Music is good for the mind, good for the heart, good for all that ails you. ;)

    It’s sad that people get picked on about their voices, their drawings, their dancing, until we have a society of people that think they can’t sing, can’t draw, can’t dance — and that these things are only for a specialized elite called “artists”. A lot of these people never even had a chance to learn.

    Good luck with the video blog and the singing. :)

  2. AnneDroid

    Reading this post, I’ve realized that I’ve never heard your voice. I was going to complain about that, but then I remembered that you’ve not heard mine, either. I guess that’s fair.

    I’m glad to hear that you feel you’re moving in a better direction. :)

  3. Ian Singing McAllister

    All my friends tease me about how horrible my voice is.

    I never took any notice, because they teased everyone about it, and never admitted that anybody could sing.

    The way to find out for sure is to visit your local chorus of the Sweet Adelines and take their free audition. It sounds to me as if you would pass without any problems.

    If you pass, you know that they are sincere, because they don’t want people singing with them who will put them off their own singing.

  4. Ener Hax

    hooray on being comfy. society blows for making issues out of such small things (hmm, maybe something else is going on besides Britney or Brad and Jen?)

    well if you are getting into heels, go to http://www.stevemadden.com and custom make your own online!!! :D