I’ve always been a little insecure in my masculinity. Not my sexuality, but my masculinity.
Like, I have a pretty high toned voice, and I always have. Me and my sister were in this chorus that we had in elementary school.
Side note. I feel very fortunate when it comes to my education. I didn’t live in the best area and my elementary / junior high school district are pretty bad (Oak Grove, for you San Jose people). But, I still had some amazing opportunities. Like, I was taking really advanced math – Algebra II in 8th grade. As we all know, going that fast is essentially meaningless in the long run, but the point isn’t that I got ahead so it was good, the point is, there were opportunities that allowed me to excel and that’s important, I think.
Anyway, another big thing I’m grateful for is my music education. Maybe all elementary schools had chorus (was it choir? That doesn’t sound right). But anyway, yeah, we had it and it was fun. And I started playing clarinet in 6th grade and that started me down the road in being part of a world class junior high jazz band. Those two things – opportunities to achieve at my own pace academically and music education, had a big effect on who I am today. And it’s totally random that I had that experience. But anyway.
Anyway, yeah, we had chorus led by Mr. Seyler and me and my sister were both in it. It was pretty dope actually, because everyone in it learned to read music and to sing in parts. There were two parts, soprano and alto. And the way he divided it up was he’d go down the line and have you say “hello”. Based on the tone of your voice, he’d put you on one side or the other.
I was a soprano and I hated it. It wasn’t a perfect split, but there were more girls in the soprano section and more guys in the alto section, as you might expect. It was especially lonely during section practices, because my friends like Yash were all altos so I was pretty much alone.
I remember in 6th grade, after 2 years of being a soprano, I really wanted to be an alto. I knew the system so as I stood in line I prepared to give the deepest “hello” I could. He came to me, and I gave him the lowest voice I could muster. And I still remember his response. He paused for a bit, then said, “Soprano.” Sigh.
So yeah, no matter how much I tried, I couldn’t mask my super high voice. It was worse that year because that was the one year me and my sister were both in chorus together and she was an alto. Basically, I felt like my sister was more masculine than I was. Side note. She also has hairier arms than I do.
That was a long time ago, but things haven’t really changed that much. I went through puberty but my voice is still pretty high and gentle. It sucks. I dunno, I just wish I had a deeper masculine voice like Chairman Kaga. But I don’t. I have this high feminine voice.
This is the worst thing that happens to me every so often. I hate telemarketers. Everyone does. But I have a special hatred for them. Every so often, they’ll call, and we get in a conversation, and midway through it, they start addressing me as “ma’am”. Anger. No exaggeration, this has happened at least 5 times. Of course I get angry and start deepening my voice. But it’s happened enough for me to realize it’s not them, it’s me. My voice is such that they mistake me for a woman. I can’t express how depressing that is.
The other thing is, I’ve always been skinny. I don’t know if you normal people can understand how traumatic this was when I was growing up. Even if you were overweight. I’ve said before how a friend and I once bonded over memories of buying pants. He always had to get “Husky” jeans and that scarred him. For me, even when I was older I had to get “Student” jeans instead of normal jeans because those were the only ones that fit. This is pretty much all through high school.
Jeans were OK, because you could go a little baggy. But the worst was buying formal clothes. Again, you normal people can’t understand this. But any time I had to shop for slacks or suits or whatever, it was a serious problem because no one made clothes for a person my size. I was probably a 27 waist at the most. When was the last time you saw pants that size anywhere? They pretty much don’t exist. And you know, with a suit or whatever, you can’t go baggy. So shopping for clothes was always traumatic.
For a period of about 6 years, I never swam in public. Because my upper body was so skinny, it was just too embarrassing. Anyway, the point is, I had a lot of trauma as a kid in regards to being skinny.
And you know, I don’t think fat guys can understand. Because, you can be a little chunky and still masculine. Maybe even more masculine. Not so with skinny guys. Think about famous super skinny men. Mick Jagger. Steven Tyler. They’re all weirdos who dress in women’s clothing.
I’ve gained a little bit of weight since frosh year and now I’m comfortable with my size. I’m still definitely on the skinny (not just lean) side, but I’m comfortable with it. But yeah, I think some of the trauma you suffer in childhood always stays with you.
So I’m a little insecure about my masculinity. Why am I writing this? No idea.