GENDER AFFIRMING & TRANSGENDER VOICE
Gender Affirming and Transgender Voice Training is for individuals who are looking for a safe way to develop or explore a voice that is healthy and more congruent with and/or reflective of their identity. Our speech-language pathologist and voice therapist, Alyssa, is grateful to have been welcomed by the trans community and has had extensive experience with voice training specific to transgender, non-binary and gender non-conforming folks.
Alyssa offers training for voice feminization, masculinization, neutralization, and voice rehabilitation-type strategies for folks who may be looking to refine vocal quality and build vocal endurance.
Voice work is so personal and can be scary to approach. You are welcome to pause your program at any time. Meet and chat with Alyssa to get a better understanding of whether this is the right fit for you.
We're often asked about the length of time for voice training. Each program is non-prescriptive and highly individualized as Alyssa's focus is on supporting each individual's needs. For a general idea of what training might look like, consider these three stages:
Trans Voice Toronto
Trans Voice Toronto
Trans Voice Toronto
Develop a healthy strong voice foundation for long-lasting voice use and flexibility.
Explore a wide variety of features that shape a healthy and objectively ____ (feminine, masculine, androgynous) voice.
Delve into advanced exploration of voice features to reinforce the ideal voice qualities. Begin to guide Alyssa so she can best support you in discovering features that not only are congruent with your gender identity but are also those which you enjoy and feel represent you.
Maintain and train a congruent voice through increasingly complex situations that require stamina, duration, projection and confidence. Check-in to refresh training and maintain optimal voice health.
EXAMPLES OF GOAL STATEMENTS:
I will discover a healthy and sustainable voice that feels authentic and is congruent with my identity
I will explore and develop the pillars of voice training, including pitch, resonance, quality, articulation and intonation patterns
I will reduce vocal discomfort and fatigue and find ease and balance in my speaking voice
I will improve the clarity, consistency, and tone of my voice
I will better understand and learn how to manage variables that impact maintenance and consistency of my voice
I will use my congruent voice across many different situations and contexts (e.g. speaking on the phone, speaking in person with familiar and unfamiliar listeners, speaking to large groups, using a loud and projected voice)
Frequently Asked Questions with Anonymous and Alyssa
FAQ: Is voice training for me?
Voice training is for those who feel that their current voice is not representative of who they are.
FAQ: How do you identify?
I identify as a cis-woman and use the pronouns she, her.
FAQ: What’s your experience?
I have clinical training as a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) and Voice Therapist, and am also trained as a Singing Voice Therapist. Along with standard voice therapy, I work alongside an Ear Nose and Throat doctor, performing scopes of the voice to make sure that it’s healthy and functioning well. I began clinical training in Trans Voice in Nova Scotia before moving to Toronto, and have continued to learn and grow ever since. I am consistenly learning and presenting voice workshops and courses on gender affirming voice, and am proud to have been a part of the voice journey for over 100 folks. I’m a member of the 519 and the Rainbow Health Organization, and make sure to keep up with WPATH and CPATH updates. Finding an SLP that is also a voice therapist and has specific experience in trans and gender affirming voice, and has completed clinical training by a certified clinician, is essential for making sure the voice is strong and healthy.
FAQ: What's your method?
Well, I suppose that first I come in recognizing my bias - that I am a cis-woman working on trans voice. I do my very best to provide a safe space. My everyday goals, and I’m being honest, are to be flexible, attentive and present. I listen and learn. My role is not to impose ideals around voice goals but instead to explore how my knowledge and experience in the voice area can support the goals that are presented to me. Each person's voice journey is different.
FAQ: How does it work?
It can really be a different experience for each person! We always start by building on a healthy and optimal voice for long-lasting use and reliability! From there, we would likely train various voice area targets, such as pitch, resonance, articulation, and quality from a health perspective. Some folks are interested in training stamina, duration, projection, or the singing voice. We might then reinforce the features (style, quality, inflection patterns) that are not only gender congruent, but are also aligned with what the individual feels is representative oftheir own personality and style. We move our target through increasingly complex situations. It’s a different world to have best voice with me, alone, and then to maintain this out in the world, for example, while hollering across the street to say hi to a friend, or to have those 2 hour phone conversations!
FAQ: I'm interested in voice feminization, but my pitch is really low. Is this an issue?
Nope! As long as the voice is healthy, starting pitch is often not a barrier. Some folks choose to pair voice training with voice surgery if they have difficulty with the pitch training component.
FAQ: Can you help even though I am planning on or have already received voice feminization surgery?
Yes! Voice therapy is typically recommended for post-op recovery and training. This is because voice feminization surgery only changes the pitch of the voice, which is a small component of voice training.
FAQ: How long will it take?
This is almost an impossible question to answer as everyone is different! There are many factors that contribute to training duration, some of which include having a safe practice space, overall voice health, time resources, financial or insurance limitations, previous experience with voice training, and confidence in exploring variations in voice. I have seen variations range from 5 to 25 sessions across 3 months to a year and a half. Most people plan for 12 sessions across about 8 months.
FAQ: I'm on Testosterone but am not satisfied with the sound of my voice. Would voice training help?
HRT for transmen does effect on the pitch of the voice - Testosterone lowers the voice. (HRT for transwomen does not have any effect on pitch of the voice). Some transmen participate in voice training if they are dissatisfied with the timbre, tone, or stamina of the voice. Frequent goal areas include voice resonance, projection and stability.
FAQ: When can I start?
You can start whenever you feel ready. There are no requirements on my behalf, such as referrals or a certain time on HRT. If you are 17 or younger, guardian consent is required.
FAQ: Do your services qualify for private insurance coverage?
Yes, since I am registered Speech-Language Pathologist, both in-person and online sessions would qualify. Make sure ask your insurance provider if you are unsure of coverage areas or budgets.