Transgender Voice and Communication Modification
At Mass. Eye and Ear, we offer voice therapy sessions to those who wish to explore and find a voice that matches their gender identity. Through customized therapy sessions, we teach you how to use your voice in a way that is healthy and comfortable. Therapy sessions are individualized to each person’s specific wants and needs.
Changing your voice requires daily commitment to home practice as well as regular attendance at therapy sessions.
Each case will be different; however, here are some of the facets of speech, language, and communication that we might focus on throughout therapy:
- Resonance: The way your voice vibrates throughout your vocal tract (e.g., chest versus forward focus resonance).
- Pitch: How high or low the tone of your voice is.
- Inflection: The way your pitch fluctuates during speech.
- Articulation: How you pronounce each sound (e.g., hard vs. easy onsets).
- Nonverbals: Walking, posture, gestures, facial expressions, etc.
Voice Changes and Hormone Therapy
Feminizing hormone therapy does not have any direct effects on the voice; therefore, voice therapy in this instance will likely encompass all of the targets listed above.
Although a deepening of the voice will likely occur with masculinizing hormone therapy, there still may be aspects of your speech you want or need to adjust such as inflection, language, and articulation.
What to Expect at an Evaluation
- Thorough case history
- Several recordings of your voice
- Possible laryngoscopy exam to assess the larynx, including the vocal folds and to screen for any pathologies
- Brief initial exploration of the voice through exercises
- Recommendations for initial home exercises before returning for therapy
- Schedule regular therapy sessions if appropriate
Surgery and Physician Consults
A physician consult may be recommended after your visit with the speech pathologist. While voice therapy is the primary course of treatment in most cases, surgery may be considered to help alter the pitch of the voice in some cases. Our advanced laryngeal surgery team has expertise in transgender voice procedures.
To schedule an appointment, call 617-573-4050 today.