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Trans Voice Q&A: How do I figure out my target voice?

trans voice Sep 14, 2021
 

 

Hello Trans Voice Explorers! 🧭

Over on TikTok, I get hundreds of trans voice questions every week. I do my best to answer as many as I can in the comments, but I thought it might be helpful to those who read this blog or who may not be on TikTok if I post the answers to some of the most common questions here.

Today's question is: "How do I figure out my target voice? When I alter my voice it sounds forced/unnatural."

So first, I want to address the idea of your target voice sounding "unnatural". When we first start to experiment with voice alteration, the sound of your feminized or masculinized voice may sound strange to you and not give you the gender euphoria you were hoping for. This is because your brain has an expectation of what your voice should sound like, and your altered voice is not meeting that expectation. This can happen even if you experience voice dysphoria!

What's important to remember is that to people who don't know your old habituated voice, your target voice sounds perfectly normal and doesn't raise any questions. In time, your brain will also realign its expectations so that your target voice sounds perfectly normal to you as well.

Now, when it comes to figuring out what your target voice should be, that's where the real Trans Vocal Exploration comes in. There are lots of ways to play with your voice until you find something that feels right to you, but here is an exercise from my course:

Draw Your Name / Speak Your Drawing

This is an easy two-step exploratory exercise/

  1. Draw your name in a way that represents your inner sense of gender. This can be done in any medium, in any way you like. You're welcome to make multiple drawings if you have multiple genders or a fluid gender.
  2. Say your name in a way that represents your artistic depiction of your name. Try this multiple times. Record yourself saying your name and listen back. Ask someone else to say your drawing and see how it compares.

To give you some inspiration, here is a drawing from my student, Lou McGrath (shared with permission).

If you do this exercise, share your creation on Instagram and tag me!

I share this and lots more exercises in my new e-course, Trans Vocal Exploration

 

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.

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