Transsexual Self-Evaluation Questionnaire will help women find their voices
A group in Australia is developing a tool to more effectively help transwomen find their true voices.
As voice is a salient factor in perceptions of gender, a gender nonconforming voice not only places the individual at risk of feelings of inadequacy but also holds the potential for a significant psychosocial impact in MtF individuals. A comprehensive assessment of voice in MtF individuals therefore requires a measure of the individual’s perception of voice and its impact on everyday life.
The study in question did not develop a new survey, but instead set out to refine and improve the only existing trans-specific vocal survey out there, the Transgender Self-evaluation Questionnaire (TSEQ). The improved “comprehensive speech pathology assessment” will, once completed and put into general use, help speech therapists better assess and guide transwomen towards more natural female voices. As the authors confidently state in their conclusions,
[T]he TVQMtF provides a reliable self-report measure of vocal functioning and of the impact of voice on the everyday lives of MtF transsexuals.
Let’s hope so. Vocal training is one of the most annoyingly difficult parts of transitioning, so much so that many women do not even do it and instead prefer to simply adopt a softer way of speaking with their original voices. It’s a common “tell” for those hoping to pass.