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Q: Is it worth doing voice masculinization exercises pre-testosterone?

trans voice Sep 08, 2022

Hello readers! I recently received this question on TikTok: "Is it even worth doing [voice masculinization exercises] pre-T? I've done everything, gotten my voice into the higher male range on voice tools and it still doesn't pass as cis."

The short answer is: definitely yes! Lots of people who take testosterone wind up seeking out voice masculinization exercises after their voice changes anyway because they have to retrain their brain to use their voice differently. 

Any exercises you do before T will be a net positive because you are developing and deepening the control and understanding of your voice. It's also positive because you are developing a practice of vocal curiosity, which will come in handy when your voice starts changing on testosterone.

However, I also want to take a moment to talk about Voice Tools and passing. For the uninitiated, Voice Tools is a perceived gender analysis app targeting trans people. I have a love-hate relationship with this app because I have many students who find it useful, especially if they have difficulty matching pitch or they're unsure where their baseline is, but most of the students who use it get hung up on the pink and blue colour coding that the app uses.

If your voice is high enough, you get pink, and if it's low enough, you get blue.

I hate that!!

Anyone who has taken my courses, watched my TikToks, or read my blogs knows that the perceived gender of the voice of a lot more complicated than high and low. And "passing" is even more complicated than just the perceived gender of your voice! Passing is so context-specific. There is new research coming out right now that shows that the gender at which a voice is perceived is highly dependent on the visual gender cues attached to that voice.

So if Voice Tools is getting you down on yourself and your voice progress, please throw the app in the garbage and look for other ways to affirm yourself because there are so so so many ways.

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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