My Voice, My Identity.

My Ignite Denver talk from 2013: you can listen to my voice in this video and see what I’m talking about.

Tonight I went to the First Friday Art Walk on Santa Fe Drive in Denver with Ryan: it was his first time going to the art walk, despite the fact that he’s lived in Denver longer than I have. I hadn’t been back to a First Friday since mid-2012: I used to go with my friends from DU¬†when we were still in school.

At the first studio we went to, we were greeted by the proprietor and then she immediately said to me, “My, you have a deep voice.”

Sigh. First off, how is that a way to greet patrons? She might have meant for it to be just an observation, but it offended me and got me thinking about the many other times others have said things about how “unique” my voice is.

It’s as if they can’t fathom the idea that me, a Chinese woman, would have a “deep” voice instead of…what? What kind of voice do they expect for me to have? A shrill, high-pitched voice because that’s what I’m “supposed” to have?!

I just don’t understand why people feel the need to point out this fact about me as if it’s something I can easily fix. I was born with this voice, this body type, this everything–how do you expect for me to change something that is unchangeable?

On the flip side, I have also received comments from others about how wonderfully unique my voice is: a family friend once said that I have a “radio voice” that is very soothing.

I am proud of my voice and how I speak: I would never change it for anybody else. I just wish that people would accept this fact and also keep a filter when it comes to what they say to others.

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