How you sound and speak impacts your daily life. If you’re transgender, nonbinary, or gender-nonconforming, you may want to adapt your communication style to match your gender identity. Transgender voice therapy can help you develop self-expression that feels authentic.
At UVA, you’ll find experienced, compassionate speech-language pathologists (SLPs). We specialize in gender-affirming voice and communication modification.
Hormones or Therapy?
Trans men often get deeper voices from hormone therapy; however, many trans men benefit from voice and communication modification as well. For transgender women, hormones don’t affect the voice.
Therapy to feminize or masculinize your voice can work when hormones can’t. Surgical options also exist. Talk to your doctor about your options.
Your Goals for Gender-Affirming Voice Therapy
Your goals will shape how and what we do. We’ll listen to and support you on your journey. You’ll gain the voice and communication tools you need to succeed.
Success looks different for everyone. Patients who have completed therapy report feeling happier about their voices. They notice they can achieve and sustain higher or lower pitches. They’re comfortable adjusting the resonance of their daily speaking voices.
After therapy, patients experience positive feedback. This includes hearing gender-affirming comments from friends and strangers. One patient heard a recording of herself and didn’t recognize her voice anymore — in a good way.
What to Expect From Transgender Voice Therapy
How we communicate is complex. Several factors play into verbal and nonverbal expression. We can help you adjust your:
- Pitch — high or low sound of a voice
- Resonance — the quality of a vocal tone
- Prosody — the rhythm, stress, and intonation of speech
- Articulation — the way your mouth forms the sounds
- Word choice — vocabulary as it relates to gender
- Nonverbal communication — gestures, eye contact, posture, facial expressions
We’ll meet with you weekly or every other week to start. To achieve your goals, you’ll need to commit time and energy. Changing your voice pitch and resonance takes time. You’ll likely need to practice daily.
Vocal Health & Other Options
We provide education and services to support vocal health and hygiene. Good vocal hygiene habits can help you maintain a healthy voice as you age
If you have any pain, hoarseness, or other issues when you talk, we’ll address these with laryngologists. These surgeons specialize in treating voice problems. They can also offer surgical options if you haven’t achieved your goals through therapy alone. Together, we'll help you find the right options for you.