Sunday, September 10, 2017

I Know We Are All Different

This is not for me, but I realize that other trans people might want to do something like this,
Vocal therapy helps some transgender people find their voice
‘The world doesn’t see you the way you want to be seen’
The Lilly
By Paige Pfleger
September 7, 2017

“The guy called me miss as I walked up to the counter,” Gorelick says. “But when he was making my sandwich and I had to tell him what I wanted, he started calling me sir.”
As a transgender woman, this wasn’t the first time Gorelick had been misgendered because of her low voice.

“It’s kind of like the world doesn’t see you the way you want to be seen,” she says. “You feel speechless.”
Vocal therapist Christie Block’s office is on the 8th floor of a high-rise in Manhattan. It’s a cozy space with a wall of books and, above her desk, an anatomical poster of the mouth and throat. This is where she sees her clients who come to New York Speech and Voice Lab for vocal therapy.

Today, more than half of her clients are transgender — mostly women like Gorelick.

That’s because people who transition to male have the option of taking testosterone, which lowers their voices permanently. But people who transition to female typically have thicker vocal folds and deeper voices, and hormones like estradiol don’t change that.
For many trans women this could be a lifeline for them and there are a number of speech therapists around that cater to trans clients including one at the University of Connecticut.

The reason why I don’t go to a speech therapist is that I feel that I lived a lie for 59 years hiding my true identity and that this would be another lie… it is not who I am.

I know of several trans women who have taken the UConn course and they feel that it has helped them, so if you want to give it a try you can probably find a voice therapist near where you live.

1 comment:

  1. Well, I'm afraid I gently disagree about not training your voice to sound female.

    It seems illogical (if recognition of femaleness is the overriding aim) to adopt a female name, to use clothing and accessories to present as female, to learn female mannerisms and behaviour, and also possibly have feminising surgery - and yet not take steps to sound female. And believe me, getting the voice absolutely right does make an extraordinary difference.

    I do see that honesty notions can stand in the way. But the various aspects of speaking (pitch, accent, speed of articulation and speech-patterns) are all accidental, derived from one's originally-assigned gender role, where one was were born, how one's parents spoke, and the influences of the society one was brought up in. Nobody has to be stuck with their learned way of speaking lifelong. It's perfectly reasonable, for instance, to replace a difficult-to-understand accent with another.

    I would put learning to speak in a female manner with one's own set of vocal equipment is on par with starting a new life in another country, and doing one's best to speak as the local people do. It's what they hope you will try to do, it makes life easier all round, and they respect you for it.