Talking is much like singing. Everyone can do it, but if you don not have a natural voice for it (like me) you can take lessons to learn to control your breathing and make your singing voice more appealing.
Almost the whole medical procedure of the transition is paid for by the health insurance in The Netherlands but you need a medical referral for every step to get it paid for. I thought these referrals had to be done by the doctor / psychiatrists from one of the UMCs.
Selecting A Practice
Finding ‘the right’ practice for any treatment is always a problem. Aside from the fact that in The Netherlands you need to make sure your health insurance has a contract with the practice (when using an in kind insurance – with a restitution insurance the patient has the lead on. More on insurances this weekend) you have no clue with specialized treatments like logopedics who is good and who not. With that, the number of speech therapy practices is quite small making the ‘right’ choice even harder (or easier if you’re living in the middle of nowhere and there’s only one in the area 😛)
Google tells me that there are only a hand full practices in the Alkmaar area which gives me some choice. There is one ‘big company’ (between quoted because they have a dozen practices around the North-Holland area) and a couple of local practices with a couple of speech therapists and I found one practice ran by just one person.
Where possible I always select a local independent service over a country wide or even global conglomerate. And ever since I moved from Amsterdam to Alkmaar I really get the chance to do this more often because the city has so many small independent shops.
The choice for my logopedics isn’t any different and needless to say I immediately contacted the speech practice ran by it’s owner. I figured that this practice would give the best result because she has to do her best to keep earning a living and within 24 hours she sent me an email with a date for a first appointment (December 12th).
Do I Really Need Logopedics?
Yes Of Course!
I think the same is true for talking. We do it every day, though out the day. Talking is not just having that soft feminine voice, you need to learn to control the voice to keep it steady and around the same pitch.
There’s also those people I know for decades already (most obviously my family). Whenever I speak with them I use my ‘natural’ voice and this really annoys me. I know I can already practice this a bit, but with logopedics it’ll go a lot easier.
The last but not least, speaking foreign languages like English. Though it’s pretty much my 2nd mother language, speaking it my voice always tumbles down to a clearly male one.
In my younger days I’ve been working as a debt collector (I am a licensed tax collector) and when speaking to people on the phone my voice was often mistaken for female.
Yesterday I was at one of the many used good stores (you’d be surprised how many we have in Alkmaar 😲) and spoke over an hour and a half with one of the employees (she was done with her shift anyway). She was very interested in transgenders in general, my transition, choice of clothing (and why I buy them 2nd hand) and a lot of general chit-chat.
When mentioned the speech correction therapy (after roughly an hour) she thought my voice was already feminine and that I wasn’t in need of speech correction. I had to explain her in general everything I have mentioned here at the left side.