One thing I’ve noticed in my time in the transgender community is that there seems to be two kinds of transwomen: those who try to sound feminine and those who don’t seem to put much (or any) effort into changing their voice. I have met women who have had the works — GRS, BA, FFS — but when they speak they still sounded like middle-aged men. On the other hand, I’ve seen videos of women online who have trained their voices so well that, if I didn’t know they were trans, I probably would never have suspected.
I’m sure there’s a conversation in there somewhere about “passing” versus being “out and proud” and whether or not transwomen should have to conform to societal standards and whatnot. Maybe another day …
Anyway, I find myself firmly in the “train your voice” group. As I move forward in my transition I look in the mirror everyday and I see all the things working against my ever “going stealth” or even “passing” at more than a casual glance. Testosterone really had its way with me! So for me, anything I can do to counter these flaws is something I want to do. Voice is one of those things.
So far, I have not invested in any materials for voice training, but I have done a lot of digging for free resources out there on the Internet. The best I’ve found so far is Deep Stealth Productions, who has put a full training video up on YouTube called “Finding Your Female Voice for Transsexuls“. It’s part of a promising voice training pack that seems affordable and that I may buy soon; but for now I’m content with the free offering. The video is more than a decade old (I chucked when the presenter mentions “buying a microcassette recorder at Radio Shack”) but age doesn’t chance good technique and this seems like a solid one. Andrea, the presenter, has an amazing female voice; and while I’m sure she’s an exceptional example rather than an average one, it’s still inspiring.
I am not very far into my training at this point. I’m still trying to hit middle A with regularity and chanting “Baa, Caa, Daa, Eaa.” But it’s progress, even if just a little, and that makes me feel better.