I talk in a voice. It’s not the highest voice. It doesn’t scream “GIRL!”, but it is feminine in quality, and medium in tone. When I sing karaoke, which is not often, I pick songs in lower registers: Neil Diamond or Bruce Springsteen. Boy songs. I find, if I pick anything higher, maybe a Britney or a Lily Allen, I sound ten times worse, and farcical; like a joke or imposter. A high, girly voice is just not one that belongs to me. Perhaps the most feminine quality about my voice is in my laughter. I feel the most feminine when I laugh.
But when I write, my voice is more male. It’s not only what I write about, but how I write. I write about sex, I write about love, I write about desire and longing … like everyone else does. But the way these things end up hitting the page – well, let’s just say it’s less like cherry blossoms falling into a still garden pond, and it’s more like a hot load of semen to the face.
My writing voice is male not just in style, but in subject matter. My personal, not for publication writing frequently leans toward themes of porn, masturbation, sex, bodily functions, body parts and the like. Sometimes I write poetry about breasts. This often leads to me being confused as a male. I’ll oftentimes get emails asking for clarification as to my sex. Usually they are almost certain I am female but are compelled to know for sure.
I am flattered by this. I’m not sure why. Perhaps it tells me I am doing something right. Creating a sort of façade that’s so real, I am called upon to clarify.
Me: female. My physical voice: female. My inner voice: male. When I analyze the why of it, I assume it’s because of my upbringing. Raised the only girl among brothers; sneaking peeks at Playboys, laughing at poo and farts and having to partake in how boys talk about girls, putting girlhood aside, getting dirty and acting the part in order to be accepted by the boys … fitting in.
That’s my guess anyway … but who knows. Try to explain your voice. Where did it come from? How did it develop? Does it matter? Do you care? At the end of the day, it is what it is. The results are on the page. You can dress it up differently to suit the occasion; stilettos and fishnets, gown and gloves, or suit and tie, but whichever way it shows up at the door, welcome it in and accept it, like your son when he outs himself one night at dinner, over the roast chicken.