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Guy cries for help because of high voice

| Monday, June 20, 2011

Hey, Cherie!

I am a 15-year-old guy, and you can't help me. Well, I guess that is a stupid way to start, so here it goes. I just finished ninth grade, meaning I will start high school in the fall.

Here is my problem: I'm on the short side, but I'm not the shortest guy in my class. I'm OK-looking, I play soccer, I get decent grades, and I'm not a nerd. I'm friends with guys I've known since kindergarten. So all that sounds normal, right?

What's not normal is my voice. I sound like a girl. Seriously. You know that gay guy on "Glee" with the really high-pitched voice• (I'm not dissing him -- I heard him on TV. And even he said he has a high voice and that he is gay and cool with it). Well, I don't know if I'd be cool with it if I was gay, but the thing is, I'm not. It's just that my voice is so high that I sound gay. Some kids make fun of me by mimicking my voice and saying it sounds like Alvin from the Chipmunks -- no lie.

Last week, we had our ninth-grade graduation dance, and I went with a bunch of my friends, guys and girls. But my friends were hanging out with girls, like even making out and stuff, but I didn't even try, because what girl wants to hook up with Alvin the Chipmunk?

I can't start high school with this voice. Are there lessons you can take to make your voice lower• I'd even have an operation if I could; that's how bad I want to stop sounding like a girl.

-- High in a Bad Way

Hey, High!

Hi! Yeah, you're right, it's a really bad joke. But, hey, I'm the type who likes to laugh at my problems before I deal with them. Moving on to you. I totally get why this would bother you. Let's start with genetics. Assuming you are not adopted, take a look at your dad's maturation history. Ask him when his voice changed. Often, it is "like father, like son."

You didn't mention whether you are physically mature yet, as in puberty -- hair in formerly hairless places, stuff like that. If you haven't, then most likely, you're just the proverbial late bloomer. That means the hair and the voice change will happen soon, literally almost overnight. You could be all deep-voiced and manly by the time you hit high school this fall.

On the other hand, if your dad matured early and/or if you've already gone through puberty, you might just have a high speaking voice. Some guys do. If it's really off the bell-curve high, I suggest you talk to the parentals about seeing an otolaryngologist. They specialize in checking out vocal chords. You can• train your voice to be somewhat lower.

I'm not endorsing this website, because I don't know it well enough, but I do know it exists. Check out to see whether you can find some helpful vocal exercises.

Hey, Cherie!

I am 11, but my dad treats me like I'm 6. My mom died when I was a baby, so I only have one parent. But that's not what I'm writing about. My cat, Lady Gaga, is about to have kittens. I am so excited!

But my dad says that I can't watch because I'm not old enough. I don't see why you have to be a certain age to watch kittens be born. Do you?

-- Alexis P.

Hey, Alexis!

Personally, I think it's fine to watch Lady Gaga give birth. Most cats like to give birth in private, though, so she'll probably retreat to a private place. And you can take her cue on whether she wants to be watched.

Oh, wait. I just told you to disobey your dad. Bad Advice Columnist. Look up some stuff on line where "experts" like vets and child psychologists say what a good experience it can be for you. Print it out and show your dad. Discuss it with him like a young lady, not a kid.

He loves you and is trying to protect you. And as a parent myself, I know how hard it can be to make the right decision. Good luck. Feel free to name a kitten "Cherie" or "Hey."

Write Cherie Bennett in care of Living, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, D.L. Clark Building, 503 Martindale St., Pittsburgh, PA 15212, or e-mail

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