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How to practice your voice when you're not out as trans

general trans advice motivation nonbinary voice voice feminization voice masculinization Dec 17, 2023
3 ways to do your trans voice practice when you are NOT OUT

I received a TikTok comment on one of my trans voice educational videos saying "I will never reach my voice goals because I SHARE A ROOM"

I live alone, but I deeply empathize with this person's feelings. You can feel so trapped if you want to make some progress on your transition, but you're not ready to come out to the people you live with.

Luckily, the voice is actually one of the most covert ways you can start your transition! There are plenty of ways to work on creating a voice that gives you gender euphoria without letting anyone around you know what you're doing.

With that in mind, here are three covert ways of working on your trans voice practice:

1. Just do the quiet stuff

I think there is a misconception that all voice work is loud and obnoxious. And while some of my favourite voice exercises are loud and obnoxious, most of the basics are not only quiet but completely silent. Here are some quiet things you can do:

  • Stretch your body - great for building up your proprioception (body awareness) and for decreasing tension in your body which will sympathetically decrease tension around your larynx, making subsequent vocal exercises easier
  • Massage your face, shoulders, and neck - another great exercise for developing proprioception and reducing tension.
  • Conscious breathing - where do you feel your breath in your body? Where do you feel it when you're laying down versus sitting versus standing up. If you take a deep breath do you feel it in your belly or in your chest? Can you move your breath around so that you fill different areas of your body? Breath control is a majorly important part of any voice practice.
  • Yawn - seems simple, but not everyone can yawn on command! A yawning stretch relaxes the muscles around your larynx and also helps you to gain control over the height of your larynx which is crucial for control resonance (especially for masculinizing)
  • Larynx pull-ups - I made a TikTok about this exercise. It's a totally silent exercise for developing the muscles necessary for raising the larynx to brighten your resonance which is crucial when feminizing your voice.

And that's just a start! I didn't even touch on all the ear-training and voice journaling and goal setting you can do completely in silence!

2. Lie!

Yes, you heard it here first, folks - just lie! There are so so so so many reasons to be working on your voice. Nobody has to know that you're actually trying to feminize or masculinize your voice. Here's a list of perfectly legitimate reasons why you might be working on developing voice control or creating a different speaking voice from the one you have now.

  • You're learning to sing
  • You're working on public speaking
  • You're in a play
  • You're playing D&D and want to voice different characters
  • You're helping a friend with an animation project by voice-acting

The sky's the limit! Don't feel bad about these little lies if you're doing it to keep your transition private for your health and safety. There's no shame in that and you have my permission!

3. Practice outside of your home

If your home isn't a safe space to practice, there are many ways that you can take your practice outside of your home. Not all of the ideas on this list will apply to everyone, but hopefully, some of them will apply to you.

  • Practice in your car - say you're going out to run some errands, park in a corner of a Wal-Mart parking lot and let 'er rip!
  • Practice in nature - if you live near a park or somewhere rural, go for a walk and practice for the trees. 
  • Practice "on the phone" - if you live in a city or a suburb or it's not safe for your to take a secluded walk in a park, walk in a populated area with an earbud in your ear and your phone in your hand and pretend you're on a phone call. Nobody will think twice about the voice you're using for that "call".
  • Practice at a community centre, library, or local LGBT organization - some places in your community may have private rooms that you can sign up to use. You can tell your family you're going there to do homework or something and then use the private space for your voice practice.

Hi, I'm Renée! (they/them)

I'm a queer, nonbinary, and disabled singer, songwriter and gender-affirming voice teacher. 

I've been a voice teacher for over twelve years, I have four full-length albums out, and I have degrees in physics, jazz, and songwriting.

I love creating, I love figuring things out, but most of all, I love helping people.

Learn more about me

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