Art_Deco saidMy parents tried to make me straight, but not in harsh ways. I don't hate them for it, they were just reflecting the beliefs of that era, and trying to do the best for me, as they understood it.
1. They sent me to a very primitive boys summer camp for several years. Very much like an "outward Bound" experience. Man, did THAT backfire! I saw things there that only made me MORE gay.
2. When I was 13 they tried hypnosis therapy with me. That didn't work either.
3. At the same time in 1962, they bought a tabletop reel-to-reel tape recorder, ostensibly as a parlor novelty. Now that sorta worked. Because when I heard my voice played back, sounding as faggy as faggy can be, I was horrified. I wouldn't speak for 3 days. And afterwards was determined to "butch" my voice, which I did. But it still didn't make me straight.
Faggy voice really?.
Yep, really, REALLY faggy. I sounded as swishy as any awful gay stereotype you can imagine. No wonder my parents got that tape recorder, so I could hear for myself.
I ran into my bedroom, slammed the door shut, and just cried and cried. I literally refused to speak for about 3 days. And when I was in my room I screamed myself hoarse for hours, trying to ruin that effeminate, overly accentuated girly voice I heard. That had made me the leading singer in the church choir, and our school's featured entertainer. I never wanted to hear that voice again.
Today my voice is very deep and resonant, and I wouldn't sing for any amount of money. I've been a radio DJ, and done professional voice work. I took a college degree in Speech & Phonetics to further lose that hideous voice, along with any trace of my New York-Jersey accent.
RJ guys who have met me in person, or spoken with me on the phone, can confirm this, no doubt. A faggy voice no more. Well, maybe just a little again since I came out.
Now whether that happened from days of screaming myself hoarse, and willing my voice to deepen, I can't say. Maybe just a normal consequence of the advance of male maturity and a natural voice deepening - I was only 13 when this all occurred.
My parents, love them though I do to this day, were in fact very controlling & manipulative. And one of the things my Mother often told me, that I still remember & follow is:
"Robert, people will judge you from the moment you open your mouth. So have perfect diction, a large vocabulary, and speak with a forceful authority, and people will respect and obey you. No matter what you say to them, they won't question you, and think you a person of wealth and consequence, if you speak well and with confidence."
And you know what? She was right. And that more than anything else, more than any real smarts or other slight abilities I have, is what built my military career.
And continues to get me into the highest echelons of social circles, despite my being the poorest person there. If they knew how little I have they'd throw me out on my ass. But I SOUND rich, so they THINK I'm as rich as them, and quite a bit more refined. Thanks, Mom!