Transgender voice feminisation is a vital aspect of being perceived as female with clients often saying ‘I am perceived as a woman until I open my mouth’.
However it is an area that’s often overlooked, and clients can sometimes be recognised as not being a natal female. Despite an increase in clients being referred for transgender voice feminisation therapy, there are only a very limited number of speech and language therapists (SLTs) with specialist training in this area. There is so much more to enabling a client to ‘pass’ in terms of communication than just the pitch of their voice.
So it’s about more than just pitch?
The short answer is yes. If you think about Mariella Frostrup, Dame Judie Dench and Joanna Lumley, they all have voices that are deeper than that of the average female. Yet, they sound female because of the way they speak – the words (more adjectives), intonation (rise and fall of the voice) and so on.
A more accurate description of the areas on which an SLT will work is communication and social skills; everything from gesture (women tend to use their hands more), intonation, language, increased eye contact, use of questions rather than statements, resonance (head versus chest) and the all important telephone voice, to body language.
What happens at the initial session?
The initial session is two hours. A complete case history is taken and the client’s voice is assessed to measure average pitch, including the pitch range (highest and lowest notes).
Initially sessions are usually weekly, progressing to fortnightly and then monthly.
Clients who have already embarked on their real life experience tend to progress more quickly in feminising their voices, communication and social skills. As with all new skills, transgender voice feminisation practice is vital.
How will I know I am practising at the correct pitch?
During the session the Sing and See software package is used to provide visual feedback of pitch. I strongly recommend that clients purchase their own copy in order that they can practise speaking at the correct pitch, therefore ‘embedding’ the new habit. The package is compatible with Windows and Mac OS X. Click here to be transferred to the Sing and See website for a copy of the software.
Transgender voice feminisation samples
Prices are available upon request.
At my home in Whitchurch (Hampshire).
Transgender voice feminisation sessions are also available via Skype.
Handouts – including general information about TG voice and vocal hygiene.
Practice materials after each session – both hard, soft and PDF copies.
MP3 recordings of all practice materials
Reports to GP and consultant if required.
“Celia recorded my voice at our first meeting, then between us we decided what my goals were. I listen to that initial recording now and wonder who that boring person was! Trust me – I sound very different now than I did then!
There are many who might say “Can you pass?” For me the question is how comfortable, confident and capable are you that you are not in fear. Celia can give you so much help that makes all the other aspects of your life finally fit together around this body that you so want.”
– AKS, Berkshire
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“I had identified a need for voice coaching and found Celia very easily through an online-search engine. I was concerned that I lived a long way from her and we would not be able to meet very often but she proposed using Skype for our weekly sessions and this worked very well.
The pace of the course and the delivery of the content worked very well for me. I could detect gradual improvements at each session and the feedback from Celia was constructive and practical.
I am extremely pleased with my new female voice.”
– CD, Gwynedd
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“Celia is a marvellous person who put me at ease immediately with a wonderful sense of humour and was professional at the same time. She is very understanding and supportive of the trans community.
I couldn’t believe my own ears when Celia played a recording from an early session and compared it with my progress after six months. I was overwhelmed and thrilled. I could never of achieved this without the kind help and support of Celia.
I can recommend Celia wholeheartedly to anyone.
It is well worth the investment in time and effort and results are incredible.”
– PW, North Hampshire
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“56 may be a somewhat late age to start transitioning, but my life has been such that that was when I started. And as I started, I quickly came to realise that I’d have to arrange treatments and services myself, if I was to do this in a timely and effective way. A friend in the trans community pointed me to Celia. ‘It’s not simply about pitch. It’s about how you express yourself; how you communicate’, she said when I called her. Ah – someone who knew her stuff and where I was coming from.
Celia’s understanding and delicacy throughout was superb, lifting me up and encouraging me when needed, correcting me when needed. I am now on the way to finding and embedding my female voice, and with this comes an ability to express myself in a more natural feminine way and be accepted as who I am, which is truly wonderful.
As a youngster I used to pray that a fairy godmother would come and turn me into a girl. But I concluded that this couldn’t happen and that fairy godmothers didn’t exist. I have since changed my view. It can happen and fairy god mothers do exist… It’s just they are not quite how Disney depicted them. And Celia is without doubt one of the most brilliant fairy godmothers I or anyone like me could have.”
– HM, Oxfordshire
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