Gender Affirming Voice FAQs
Updated: Aug 15
How much will I need to practice?
You will need to practice everyday if you want to experience results and permanency in your voice.
My college piano teacher used to say “practice does not make perfect, practice makes permanent.”
Be honest with yourself about what you want and how much energy you want to put into it.
You can do this. I know it. How much do you want it?
I am only starting this journey and not sure where I am going, but I am interested in exploring!
If you are mainly interested in exploring the concept of Gender Affirming Voice and Communication, the commitment to practice is a bit less. Exploration will not result in permanent changes, but it could provide a bit of clarity as to what you want or help you set a goal.
I will accept any level of commitment, so no worries if you really want to explore gender affirming voice and put a little toe in. It’s perfectly fine.
What if I want to explore an androgynous voice?
Some clients want the flexibility to go back and forth between two voices. That is okay. Some clients want to find an androgynous voice. It is truly a spectrum. You get to choose.
Whatever you want I will accept that.
Can’t I just do this with YouTube?
YouTube is a great resource for learning to do many things. Transgender Voice or Gender Affirming Voice is a subject of many videos. Speech Language Therapists, successful transgender laypeople, vocal and speech coaches and vocologists all have their approaches. Some of them are simple and some of them are harder to understand. Sadly, a few of them may be harmful.
I have clients who meet with me and explain what they know so far. Some are on the right track and some are very confused from their YouTube education on Gender Affirming voice.
Feedback from an SLP or a vocologist/vocal coach is very helpful.
At Dallas Gender Voice Center, you will have the opportunity to meet with a licensed Speech Language Pathologist for an evaluation and initial care as well as a vocologist/vocal coach for voice and communication training all in one location. You have a choice to work with both professionals or just one of us after your initial evaluation.
So you will tell me exactly what to do? What is the typical trajectory of voice affirming therapy?
This is a partnership between you and me. I will depend on your participation, input, and discovery to guide you. This is not a passive process for clients where I tell you what you need to do or the exact thing that will make you feel comfortable. You will be able to depend upon me to share with you all that I know, tell you what and how to practice, listen carefully to your voice to give you focused suggestions, be your cheerleader as you discover and achieve your goals, and affirm you for the beautiful authentic person you are. I will be there to help you in any way I can.
You will need to take notes in the sessions, participate and practice.
I am really anxious about this. I don’t know if I can do it.
You may be anxious about the process. There are legitimate reasons for this. Hopefully you have a support system and maybe a counselor to talk to. If you do not have a counselor, we are happy to provide a referral.
Our voices are personal and make us feel vulnerable if we don’t feel safe. This can take time and I am willing to go as slow or as quickly as you need to so you can feel relaxed.
This is a safe place to try new things and explore. Patience and understanding is required. I have spent many years in the LGBTQ community as a performer, and am quite comfortable and knowledgeable with neurodivergence as well.
I love to laugh and play. This is my authentic self. Exploring your voice is actually lighthearted once you feel comfortable.
As Glennon Doyle says; “We can do hard things.” I would add…together.
I don’t even know what I want? Where do I start?
This is sometimes difficult. The first goals are naturally very broad. As time goes on, vocal goals may become more specific. Transfeminine clients usually want a higher pitched voice and Transmasculine clients typically want a lower voice. Non-Binary clients usually want a voice that has parts of both. Easy, huh?
This is a great place to start. Pitch isn’t the only one parameter that identifies gender in voice. I’ll teach you what the scientific research says about the vocal qualities that typically identify men’s and women’s voices. And will teach you how to achieve these different parameters.
As we spend more time together, you’ll notice that your perception and vocabulary to describe different vocal qualities will grow. This means that you may have a more nuanced idea of what qualities you want to add or take away from your voice. This also means your goals may start very broadly and become more specific. This is actually exciting and fun.
What about Movement and Non-Verbal Communication?
As a little CIS girl, I was put into charm school. I wasn’t your typical hyperfeminine child at all. I laugh about what I was taught and how I had a hard time being “charming.”
Needless to say, I believe there are as many ways to move and communicate as there are people. Some clients really love working with movement and non-verbal communication to affirm their gender. Some are fine with how they move and have no desire to work on this. It’s up to you.
Movement is another area that is helpful in creating a voice. Not just feminine and masculine movement. There are loads of videos and books that will tell you about how men and women move. I want to help you feel comfortable naming and owning how you move. That can only be determined by exploration and discovery.
It may be small movements that make the most difference. We will talk about what feels right for you.
What are these other things?
Intonation is the musical part of our voice. Unless we speak in an absolute monotone pattern (no change in pitch) we have an intonation pattern. While there are broad female and male patterns of intonation, this is much more nuanced work depending on what intonation feels authentic to you.
We will learn about pitch in intonation and its relationship to gender, rate of speech, space between words, articulation and other parameters that inform listeners of gender. Then we’ll explore what we know until we find your authentic expression.
The overall goal is to speak in a way that affirms a persons’ gender and their authentic personality.
My wish is that you build a healthy, free, strong and flexible voice. A dependable voice that will be there when you need it. Through practice and commitment you will have the skills you need to express your authentic self.
You need to sound like your authentic self. Not anybody else.
Serving Texas and California