Recently I was in a department store, when I spotted a beautiful woman browsing through the sales rack. She had her back to me, but I instantly suspected that she was a model. She had long, shapely legs, a beautiful figure, and dark hair tied into a braid.
“Wow, what a beauty!” I thought to myself as I turned toward the shoes. All of a sudden, I heard something that stopped me dead in my tracks …
A deep male voice called out from the exact place she was standing, “Miss, could you tell me how much this skirt is?”
It sounded as if this beautiful woman had been invaded by a body snatcher! That’s when it hit me … “She” was actually a “he!”
As a speech pathologist, I am keenly attuned to people’s voices. But it didn’t take a Masters degree to realize that this gal’s voice was no match to her feminine exterior. And I could tell by the shocked look on people’s faces that everybody within earshot also knew her secret.
What a shame! She was perfect in every other way – from her long, dark hair and feminine figure to her beautifully coordinated outfit. Unfortunately, it was her VOICE that shattered the feminine illusion.
If you’re reading this right now, you can probably relate. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard it before:
If you’re like most transgender women I know, you’ve spent a LOT of time, energy and money perfecting your feminine image. It’s probably taken you years of practice to get your hair and makeup right and you’ve undoubtedly spent hundreds – maybe even thousands – of dollars on breast forms, wigs, and shoes.
Unfortunately, none of that matters the moment you are forced to speak. If you can’t TALK like a woman, you’re not going to pass. Period.
But you probably already know that. Knowing you need to work on your voice isn’t the problem – it’s the “doing something about it” part that’s so hard!
Voice feminization is one of the toughest parts of transitioning. Sadly, there are very few transgender women with passable voices.
Even worse, there is so much BAD information floating around out there. Chances are, the voice feminization tactics you’ve been using until now are not working …
The human voice is a complex mechanism and the “quick fixes” being thrown around the transgender world just don’t work. Some of the most common vocal mistakes I hear TG women make include:
The “fundamental frequency” (or pitch) of male voices typically ranges from 100 to 150 Hz, while female voice pitches range from 175 to 250 Hz. If your voice falls below 165 Hz (and I’ll tell you how to find out your exact pitch in a moment), you’re probably going to get read as male.
At the other end of the spectrum, many TG’s try to compensate for a deep voice by speaking in falsetto. But this high pitched “head voice” sounds more appropriate for Minnie Mouse or Tiny Tim than any genetic woman.
Another common tactic employed by transgender women is speaking more softly. However, lowering the volume of your voice does nothing to make your voice sound more feminine – it just makes it impossible to hear you.
While it’s true that genetic girls have more “melodic intonation” to their voices, upswinging the end of all your sentences just makes you sound like a ditzy Valley Girl. (Hardly the ideal female role model for anybody over the age of 18.)
Males have a larger throat space than women, giving their voices a richer, deeper quality. While there are tried and true ways to reduce the throat space, constricting your throat too much can lead to a pinched sounding voice. (Think Pee Wee Herman or Kermit the Frog.)
Have you ever been shocked to hear a recording of your own voice? If so, then you know that the way you sound to yourself is completely different from the way the rest of the world hears you …
You may not believe it right now, but I’m here to tell you that anybody (including you) can quickly and easily obtain a passable feminine voice with little bit of the RIGHT kind of training.