You are here: Home

Transgender Voice Transition (Feminization / Masculinization)

E-mail Print PDF

Transgender voice transition, or voice feminization and voice masculinization, refers to a non-surgical development process used to modify the human voice. The transition is from either a male sounding voice to a female sounding voice, or a female sounding voice to a male sounding voice.


To talk about Transgender Voice Feminization and Masculinization it is important to understand what “transgender” is and is not. Transgender is a term used to express a person’s gender identity. That identity is not based on their assigned sex as it relates to their external physical body at birth but rather is an understanding of one’s genuine internal identity. To be transgender is to align the internal self-image and expression with the external appearance, not matching one’s birth sex.


Individuals who transition their voice do so to bring out different tone characteristics and gender appropriate expressions and delivery style that more closely matches who they are. This can be done for their own sense of well-being and as a new way of presenting themselves in society.


When working with someone on transgender voice transition, the whole person is taken into consideration, not just the voice, to condition and maintain their new feminine or masculine qualities.


The transgender person has an end goal in mind and knows how they would like to interact with others. Transgender voice transition is based on the individual’s starting point, which involves everything from their history such as genetics, behaviours like dietary practices, to emotional experiences such as depression, anxiety, and anger, along with voice and speaking techniques. These factors impact the proper or improper use of the voice; which then impacts the strength or weakness of the speaking muscles. With the beginning and ending in mind, the voice modification begins.


Surgery can be performed to alter the pitch of the voice. It does not, however, address the other vocal characteristics used during communication. For that reason, transgender people will often seek out private coaching post-op to learn how to use their voice differently from how they habitually spoke pre-op, self-monitor their vocal qualities, and understand how to best present themselves and their new voice to those around them.


HOW IT WORKS

Areas of focus include:

· Set-Point Assessment – Beginning the Journey

· Breath

· Tone

· Non-surgical pitch modification

· Sound modification

· Articulation (gender specific)

· Delivery / Expression / Body Language

· Proper use of the voice

· Long-term maintenance / hygiene


3-Core Development Guidelines:

1. Voice Technique / Development

2. Speech and Singing – Male / Female Differences, Gender Appropriate Articulation – Language

3. Communication – Verbal and Non-Verbal


A common question I am asked is, “What is pitch?” Pitch is a sound that comes from your voice. Pitch happens when we initiate the movement of the vocal cords with our breath. That movement causes vibrations to begin when we have a thought and speak that idea out loud.


Okay, let’s try it out! Think of the song “Happy Birthday.” Now, sing it silently to yourself, in your head. Next, sing it out loud. The pitches you heard when you sang it silently to yourself were probably the same pitches you sang when you sang it out loud. What you sang were the pitches you thought were the correct sounds for the birthday song. Hmmm, interesting!


Understanding the separate parts of your specific voice, such as pitch, and how it relates to the feminine and masculine, is the beginning of self-exploration and self-discovery. You gain heightened levels of awareness allowing for broader avenues of voice development, modification, and, ultimately, your personal expression.


The technical side of voice transition, which I guide you through, coupled with the delivery integral to the individual is truly a labour of love, with great personal satisfaction rewards as the minimum.

 

Call to talk about your voice and begin your personalized voice training program. You'll be glad you did!

 

Donna Flynn

Vocal Coach (Speaking & Singing Voice Training)

416-436-8063

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it