Two Whole Years

Thinking back on the past two years as a VTuber/Streamer in general, it’s hard to imagine it’s already been two whole years. Where’d all that time go?

For the longest time, I’d wanted to be a Youtuber or a streamer. I tried a couple of times, but anxiety made it hard. Part of it was I just wasn’t comfortable with my face or voice. I didn’t know why at the time, but I felt like it didn’t represent me very well.

Then all of a sudden, everyone was into these newfangled VTubers.

I didn’t watch them, really. Though I did occasionally watch a couple of Beat Saber players. They had fancy motion capture stuff so their avatars could dance around. It was really fun to watch, and I wondered if I could do it, too. I didn’t need to talk or anything, just get a cute model and play Beat Saber. I could be a cute girl! That made it easier somehow.

I already had the VR setup, I just needed motion capture. I tried a Kinect, first; an older one wasn’t that expensive. It “worked” but the result was pretty poor. So I saved up and eventually got some proper tracking pucks. It was around here when “Maia” was imagined. Ren suggested making her a Cendarii and away we went.

Prototype Maia; Simply a model bought from Booth and edited to closer match a Cendarii

But I wanted to try streaming, not just making short Beat Saber videos. So I thought I’d stream Beat Saber. But then I’d have to talk! Talking was scary. I mean, from a general anxiety sense, but also because my original voice was pretty deep. And, you know, masculine.

I didn’t think it was possible for me to sound feminine, so I hunted around and eventually found a voice changer. I used it for a long time, but I hated how it sounded. It sounded feminine, but it also sounded kinda robotic. Some people could pick out I was using a voice changer right away. Someone in my first collab ever made fun of it.

Then Ren introduced me to some videos on changing your voice. I thought I’d give it a try. I trained a bit, but eventually got so annoyed with the changer’s tinny quality that I just stopped using it. Around this time I realized (or maybe un-repressed) that I was trans.

My voice after turning off the voice changer

I wanted to sound cute, energetic, bright. Real envious of other peoples’ voices. Even my masculine voice is very soft. I never spoke much, so I guess I have something of a weak voice as a result. (My first streams were legitimately strenuous. I couldn’t actually talk for two hours.)

Over time, I started to sound more feminine as I practiced more with my voice training. I never did sound like I wanted, but I’m starting to think that’s okay. A calmer, more mature-sounding voice is fine, too, I think. If it helps people relax and makes them happy, I’m OK with that.

It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that VTubing helped me re-learn who I was. I’ve started HRT and am more comfortable now with myself than ever before. And while my channel didn’t grow like I originally wanted, I’ve still met some great people and I have a core group of regular chatters, without whom I wouldn’t be able to keep streaming I don’t think.

Thank you all so much for sticking with me! I look forward to streaming with you all for the foreseeable future~

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