Those who identify as transgender or gender non-conforming, especially transfeminine individuals, often seek out voice modification. The use of testosterone by transmasculine individuals helps to make their voices deeper, but not always to a satisfactory extent. Estrogen typically does not make the transwoman’s voice higher in pitch. Even if a client opts for phonosurgery, voice training before and/or after surgery may be more effective than just surgery alone, to maximize the surgical outcome, protect vocal health, and improve the non-pitch aspects of voice and communication.
It is our belief that many other aspects of voice production besides pitch may be even more important determinants of how feminine, or masculine, you sound. Such factors include resonance, volume, voice quality, type of intonation pattern, rate and rhythm of speech, shaping the speech sounds, etc.
Beyond speaking itself, there are many other factors that, if incongruent, may cause you to be misgendered. These can include posture/alignment, how you walk and sit, use of gesture and facial expression, speech articulation, rhythm and flow of speech, and use of certain vocabulary and grammatical constructs. Even a cough, laugh, or throat-clear may be problematic for some people.
Could it be that some of these issues cause you to not pass in your gender presentation? In today’s challenging society, a voice that doesn’t match your gender identity may even lead to harassment, discrimination, or safety issues, as well as gender dysphoria.
Clearly, achieving authenticity is an important goal, but it may seem overwhelming to have to deal with all the above-mentioned factors, along with the physical issues of hair restoration, laser treatments, facial feminization, and/or gender-affirming surgeries. So, why not let a trained communication specialist guide you through the voice transformation process.
At Professional Voice Care Center, we offer a comprehensive holistic program, with YOU as the most important part of the training and treatment plan. Our program covers any and all aspects of gender-affirming communication style that align with your goals. These can include vocal pitch modification, development of more gender-aligned resonance and voice quality, inflection/intonation, articulation, gesture/facial expression, vocabulary and grammar. Posture/alignment, relaxation strategies, breath control, learning to project the voice, and reduction of voice-related muscle tension are also covered. (If you’ve tried to modify your voice on your own using YouTube or other DIY videos, you may have already encountered vocal strain. We can help you with that, too!).
We don’t just formulate an arbitrary set of goals around what a feminine, masculine, or gender non-conforming voice “should” sound like. We base our training plan on what YOU want to accomplish. We’ll help you develop the voice and communication style that you are looking for; your input is crucial in this process. You may want to change very little, or almost everything, about the way you communicate. We will support your decisions, and guide you as to how to best achieve your goals.
We also support your psychosocial well-being. All our services are delivered in a safe, supportive, and welcoming environment. Virtual training sessions are also available for your convenience. Our goal: to help our transgender and gender non-conforming clients develop comfort and confidence using a style of communication that conveys authenticity and congruence. Let us help you express your true self!
Karen Sussman’s work with gender-affirming voice training was featured on the WABC-TV Pride 2023 special, Strength in Solidarity
We are pleased to offer Gender-Affirming Voice Training in-person and via convenient interactive online platforms. Avoid driving during inclement weather, save on travel cost and time, and stay safe and secure in your own home.
If you want more information about any of our services, feel free to fill out the form below. A Voice Program Coordinator will get back to you as soon as possible.