CrossPort: Cincinnati, Ohio

Volume 22, Issue 5

Version: 5/14/2006 1:36:47 PM

May 2006

In This Issue!

Finding Your Feminine Voice!
To Sound Like a Woman Melanie Speaks CrossPort Information 1,2,7 1,2,5 2

To Sound Like A Woman
Susan D Clark Phil: Speech and

How to Develop a Female Voice Happenings Feminine Voice Techniques


4 6,7

Language Therapist On the first visit to the therapist, a case history is taken. Hearing a person's background in their own words helps to form a relationship, and to elaborate on areas pertinent to communication. A person who is not permanently cross-dressing fulltime, may be accepted for treatment because this provides an opportunity to give them basic information that will allow them to practice techniques, and they will achieve results more quickly once they are cross-dressing permanently. From the outset, total commitment to therapy is essential. So far as voice is concerned, experience shows that transsexuals fall into four categories; • Those where little therapy is required to achieve

acceptable female voice. Those who have an unrealistic self- perception of acceptable voice. • Those who can gain acceptable voice with considerable therapy input • Those where voice modification surgery is required. The aim of therapy is to feminize the voice so that it does not attract attention. The voice should possess the correct blend of pitch, loudness and quality combined with a feminine manner. At the first or second session an audio tape is made to determine the fundamental pitch frequency. This is to show if the pitch moves into the feminine range after therapy. Transsexuals who use a fundamental frequency of 160 Hz. or more are likely to be judged as female. Those with a fundamental frequency below 160 Hz.

are likely to be perceived as male. There are two important points to remember regarding frequency. Firstly there is an overlap between male and female frequencies - Eartha Kitt and Cher are examples of low frequencies, and secondly, some transsexuals have a large frame and would sound ridiculous with a high pitched voice. A photograph of the client is taken at an early stage in therapy, and may be repeated at intervals to assess improvement in femininity. Recently I have started videoing transsexuals to evaluate voice and body language together. We are all influenced by how we expect males and females to sound. A group of university students were asked for three female and three male characteristics.
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Voice Feminization

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Melanie Speaks
Nothing gets you read faster than a voice that doesn't match your appearance. Many gender folk dress up to the nines and look like goddesses... until they open their mouths. Suddenly, in spite of the grace and curves they turn into truck drivers or lumberjacks right before your eyes. Clothes may make the man, but voice makes the woman. Whether you are a cross dresser or transsexual, developing a truly FEMALE voice - not just a feminine one - is of paramount concern. When I began my transition, there was electrolysis to worry about, mannerisms... but it was voice that seemed to me the greatest obstacle. Like most, I tried simply feminizing my voice, softening the voice I had. I tried raising my pitch artificially, arriving at that bad falsetto that forms the stereotype of the transgendered marking them as parodies rather than the real thing. Eventually I even consider vocal chord surgery as a last resort.

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Melanie Speaks, Part two
Voice surgery made me nervous though. I had a fairly decent singing voice, I like to do character voices, I liked to sound dramatic when I spoke. But the thought of being read every time I uttered a word was enough to tip the balance to consider voice surgery, even though all end-results I had heard were not very convincing AND I had heard horror stories of those who as a result of the surgery lost their voices completely! I had just about resigned myself to that risk when, a few months into fulltime, I stumbled into something quite by accident that made the difference in my career, my relationships, in my life as a whole: I learned to sound female. Notice I did not say "to talk like a woman", but rather "to sound female". This is because the secret I found is not in the way one speaks but the way one sounds. I had been trying out different voices that day (as I did most days), sometimes trying to sound like a squeaky teenager, other times like a mature matron. For weeks I had been struggling with no progress to speak of. And then, this one day, suddenly something happened. My voice "slipped gears" and came down in a different place than it had ever been. All at once, in one broad stroke, the TIMBER of my voice had turned female. I couldn't believe it! I actually SOUNDED female! I tried saying this and that and EVERYTHING sounded female. This was incredible! After all my fears and yearnings... well, it was almost like magically being transformed into a woman! I was working as Melanie, but still going home to my wife as Dave. The kids did not know about my transition yet. So each night, I would leave work, take off the nail polish and make-up, change my clothes and go home. So, I decided it was time to go back to my "drab" voice and do Dave again for the night. But when I tried to revert, I couldn't find my old voice. I tried again nothing! Suddenly I felt that I really HAD been transformed! That somehow my whole voice box had been changed to female! But this was terrible!!! My wife was going to kill me! After half an hour of unsuccessful attempts to get out of voice, there was nothing left to do but face the music.
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How to Develop a Female Voice
Tara M. Taylor You can be very passable in your appearance, but if you speak in a masculine voice you've just outed yourself. It amazes me how many transsexual women speak in a masculine-sounding voice, even post-ops. They'll spend thousands of dollars on hormones, electrolysis, surgery, etc, but won't make the effort to retrain their voices. If you don't mind getting sir'd on the phone, or even in public, go ahead and talk like a man. But if you want to pass as a woman, your voice is important. Another reason to speak in a female voice is we are all ambassadors for the trans community. People will often base their views of us on first impressions. If you speak in a masculine voice not only will there be an incongruity between your voice and appearance, but people will probably relate us more to drag queens and crossdressers than women, an image we need to get away from. Just about any male voice can be retrained, so don't be discouraged if you're starting as a baritone! Just like your walk, unlearning years of doing something in a masculine way, you're retraining your throat muscles, so give yourself time. It may take a year, or more, before your voice sounds good in all situations, like yelling. Will hormones make your voice higher? Unless you started HRT at the onset, or at puberty before your voice had changed, hormones will have no effect on pitch (though estrogen will tend to soften the voice). What about voice surgery? That is an option and can take the worry out of whether you'll get read when you speak. As with most surgery, the outcome of voice surgery isn't certain. Explore your options and educate yourself about vocal surgery before deciding to have it. There are three steps to developing a female voice: 1) Learn the techniques, 2) practice, 3) more practice! Training your voice is similar to learning piano: first you start with scales, then progress to songs until you're proficient. If you have singing experience, radio broadcasting, or have done character voices, these techniques should be easy for you. Recording and listening to your voice, either with a cassette recorder or your computer, is essential! There are many nuances that make up a female voice and you can only hear them when you play your voice back. When a person hears his or her voice played back for the first time they're usually surprised at how different it sounds. That's because when you hear your own voice it's resonating in your head and will sound different from what others hear. I also recommend recording your phone calls, either with your computer or a cassette recorder. They will be invaluable to your learning process. The phone is an important test since the person you're speaking to has no visual clues about your gender. There are inexpensive devices you can buy at Radio Shack, and other electronics stores, that plug into your phone and a cassette recorder and are activated when the phone receiver is lifted. (Check with your local laws. In some states in the US it's illegal to record a phone conversation without the other person's knowledge.) Similarity to acting Speaking in a female voice has similarities to acting, in that, you're adopting speaking mannerisms that are different from your normal voice. The difference being it'll become your normal voice! Actors whose character speaks in a foreign accent often study other actors, or everyday people, who speak in the accent they need to imitate. A southern accent is good practice in developing a female voice and will be addressed later in the lessons. Just as in a female walk, when everything's done correctly they combine to make a convincing sounding voice. You'll need some reading material to practice from. I recommend something you enjoy, like a favorite book or women's magazine. Warm ups When you take acting lessons you're taught warm-ups. One I recommend is saying the vowels (a-e-i-o-u) and overemphasizing them by making exaggerated mouth movements. This will help in relaxing your mouth muscles and achieving the clear enunciation and modulation of the female voice and break the male habit of slurring words and not enunciating clearly. Pitch The main difference between a masculine and feminine voice is pitch. Don't believe anyone who says pitch isn't important. Those who say that usually don't pass well with their voices. Even Melanie Phillips says pitch isn't important. However, if you listen to her voice her pitch is far above most male voices (I think that's a reason why some don't get results from her lessons). Pitch should be the technique you work on the most. Males have deeper voices due to longer and thicker vocal cords. It's like the difference between a flute and an oboe. If you picture your vocal cords as a pipe (see diagram), pipe B will make a higher pitched sound than pipe A, since pipe B is shorter. You can accomplish this by tightening your vocal cords. You want to move the resonance out of your chest and lower throat and up into your nasal passages and head. Try this experiment: place your index finger just above your Adam's apple and your middle finger just below it. Now speak in your normal voice.
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How to Develop a Female Voice
Part two
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Second Tuesday’s, 7:30 Sharp to 9PM General discussions @Jenelle’s house. Q&A. afterward. Open topic meetings in safe, quiet, accepting neighborhood. S.O.’s welcome! Call or write for details: 513 7312464 or, Suject::CrossPort CrossPort Social held on third Thursday of each month. Dinner and socializing. Spouses and partners are welcome to attend. Cross dresser's (CD/TV) Support Group meets on the first Wednesday of each month. The goal of this group is to address issues relating to the needs of the cross dressing members of CrossPort. Every month we offer all or part of the meeting to open discussion. Spouses and significant others are welcome and encouraged to attend. For more information, please email Stacy: Transsexual Support and Discussion Group: The defining characteristic of transsexuals is the lifelong desire to live and be socially recognized as the sex opposite the one assigned at birth. The primary purpose of this group is to provide an environment in which transsexual identified and questioning people have the opportunity to meet and discuss concerns that affect them. These include: relationships with family and friends, employment concerns, legal issues, discrimination and violence, and access to health-care providers. The group, which focuses on pre-operative, postoperative and non-operative female-to-male and maleto-female transsexuals, offers an opportunity to network in a supportive forum. This group meets twice a month, on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays. For more information please email Cynthia at: Vicki D'Salle @Hamburger Mary's Friday, June 9th- 5:30-8:30 PM Ricky Nye @Chez Nora Wednesday’s, 8:30-12:30, w/Bekah Williams the first & third Wed's.
CrossPort membership is ENCOURAGED, not a requirement to attend our meetings. Without Members there is no CrossPort Send your event to:, Subject:CrossPort

You should feel vibration under both your fingers. Now tighten your throat, raise your pitch and try to make your voice resonate from just your upper throat. You should now feel vibration mainly under your index finger. Don't be discouraged if your pitch doesn't sound natural at first; It will rise over time with practice. I teach two techniques to raise pitch. The first is emitting an audible sigh -- like a big yawn -- in the highest pitch you can go without breaking into falsetto (falsetto is that high, squeaky voice that sounds like Mickey Mouse and sound unnatural). This technique is taught to singers. The second is deliberately going into falsetto and sliding down into a pitch that feels comfortable. Now, onto your first lesson. Start your recording device and do an audible sigh while raising your pitch as high as you can. In other words, take a breath and say "haaaa" in as high a pitch as you can without breaking into falsetto. Holding that pitch read a few lines from your reading material. Or try the same thing by going into falsetto and letting your voice slide down to a pitch that feels comfortable. If your voice cracks or breaks, that's OK. When you first start it will, your throat isn't accustomed to using the upper vocal cords exclusively. Breathiness Marilyn Monroe had the classic sexy, breathy voice. Breathiness begins by whispering -- pretend you're whispering something into your girlfriend's ear. Over time your volume will increase; people are used to women having softer voices. Just speak loud enough to make yourself understood. Don't over do it -- talking with too much breathiness can make you sound like a drag queen! You may think you sound funny, just ignore it and keep practicing.

“Imagine your voice being projected out the tip of your nose”

More on page 5




How to Develop a Female Voice Part three
Continued from page 4

Enunciation Men tend to slur words and not speak as clearly as women. This is probably due to having louder voices so they don't have to enunciate clearly. For example, a man would say: "Gonna go ta Tom's house 'n' check out the game." Whereas a woman would say: "I'm going to visit Mary. We're going to do each other's hair." A good way to learn to enunciate is to read something and over e-nun-ci-ate each word. This will sound overdone, but you're breaking the male pattern of slurring words. Phrasing and Modulation Men tend to speak in a flat-footed or monotone way, not varying their tone much and saying as much as they can in one breath. Women modulate, or vary their tone. In other words, their pitch will go up and down during a sentence. For example, a woman would say, "Oh, my dear [pitch up]. How are youu?" [pitch down] Men have larger lungs and can speak longer without taking a breath, whereas women have less breath capacity and tend to take more breathes when speaking. A way to practice this is to read something and every time you see a comma, take a breath. Try it with the following sentence, taking a short breath at every comma: "I went to the store and bought lipstick, eye shadow, blush, and mascara." Pronunciation Men and women pronounce words differently. The main differences are women often pronounce one syllable words as two, and sometimes their voices go up at the end of sentences, like when asking a question. For example, a man would say: "I'm going out the back door," whereas a woman would say "I'm going out the back door-or." The classic female greeting of "hieee" is another example. A good way of practicing this is to speak in a Southern accent. If you saw the movie "Tootsie," (If you haven't, I recommend you do since Dustin Hoffman did a good job of imitating a woman's voice) you may remember when Mr. Hoffman was Tootsie she spoke with a southern accent and didn't when he was a man. That's because a southern accent is one of the easiest to speak in a feminine voice. People from the south pronounce one syllable words as two (for example bray-yed instead of bread) and the southern drawl gives your voice a natural feminine quality. If you don't know how to do a southern accent rent a movie with a female lead who speaks with a southern accent, like Fried Green Tomatoes and imitate her. Women hiss! OK, not like a snake! When women talk they make a hissing sound when they say words with the letter 'S' in them. You can do this by putting your tongue at the roof of your mouth just behind your front teeth. It's like talking with a lisp. Try putting your tongue in that position and say, "Girls make a hissing sound when they say words with S's in them." These are the basic mechanics of a female voice. Keep recording and critiquing your voice. The worst time to practice is in the morning after you've just gotten up. Your throat muscles

are relaxed and this tends to put your resonance into the lower vocal cords and chest. A good time to practice is when you're excited about something, after a good day. Your voice naturally sounds livelier and you're enthusiastic. Here's a tip when answering the phone: Women tend to take a breath just before speaking. When you answer the phone take an audible breath (inhale) before speaking. When you think to yourself, think in your female voice. Spend at least 10-15 minutes a day practicing recording, playing back and critiquing your voice. Don't just listen to your voice (without recording) and think you'll sound fine. You'll miss things. Hearing how others hear you is essential. Sometimes it boils down to just one phrase or word that needs improvement. It's exciting to hear a woman's voice played back and knowing it's you!

Listen to and imitate women on TV. Note their cadence, modulation and phrasing

Melanie Speaks, Part three
Continued from page 2

I drove home, and Mary said, "How was your day?" I replied, "Fine", but it wasn't Dave's voice, it was Melanie's and Mary threw a fit! "What's wrong with your voice?!", she demanded. I explained what had happened and how I got stuck. She told me I had better figure out how to get my old voice back before the kids woke up in the morning. Over the course of an hour or so, my voice relaxed and the old voice came back. I worried that I couldn't get the new voice back again. It happened by accident, and I really didn't know what I had done. At first, I DID lose the new voice. But then, I found it again, and practiced and practiced going in and out all the rest of the night. The next morning, the first thing I did when I woke up was try to find the new voice again, and there it was, mine to command! Over the following months, I worked on the fine points, adding all the elements that affected not only the sound, but the manner in which I spoke. And now, over four years later and two years after SRS, I can report that my new voice is fine. If I choose I can slip in and out of it at will. This voice has been crucial in my career advancement, relationships and best of all, my female voice has helped developed my sense of self as Melanie.




Feminine Voice Techniques
Introduction This is a collection of practical suggestions and ideas for selfhelp in the feminization of the voice, developed by a group of male-to-female transsexuals within the Looking Glass Society. Neither hormones nor genital surgery will 'un-break' a male voice, and voice-changing surgery is widely regarded as inadvisable, in addition to being at best only a partial solution. Thus, speech training is necessary in order to produce a satisfactory 'female' voice. At first, it may seem hard to concentrate on all the different facets of producing a feminine voice, and lapses will happen. The only solution is to practice and practice again until it gradually becomes second nature. The Methods 1. Sing! To loosen-up the voice box, extend your pitch range, and help develop good control, it can be very helpful to choose a female vocalist that you like, preferably one with a relatively deep voice, and sing along. The musicallyminded may also wish to perform singing exercises, such as singing scales. 2. Raise the position of the laryngeal cartilage : up raises your voice pitch and decreases the characteristic male resonance. (The laryngeal cartilage is the 'movable' piece of cartilage that you can feel rising if you place a hand on your throat and sing a rising scale ( "doh, re, mi, fa, sol, lah, ti, doh" )). The point of this is to try to gain a higher 'baseline' pitch than you have previously used, and then increase the pitch further when placing emphasis. 3. For example you might decide that if you pitch the "doh" as your baseline male pitch, raising your basic pitch to about "fa" or "sol" would be sufficient. But do not overdo the pitch-raising: a squeaky, falsetto voice sounds very inappropriate on an adult woman. The pitch adjustment is a compromise --- for the technically-minded you should aim for above 160Hz; if you have access to a musical instrument that's about the G below middle C. 4. Of course, everyone starts out with a different original voice and some will be able to raise it more than others without sounding squeaky. You might find it slightly tiring on your voice-box at first, as you are unused to speaking in that register, but it should become comfortable with a little practice. If it does not, then you are probably trying to force your pitch up too high. 5. Partially open the glottis when speaking : The position of the glottis controls how much air passes over the vocal cords. When breathing rather than speaking, when whispering, or when producing an 'unvoiced' sound (where the vocal cords do not vibrate, like 'hhh' or 'sss' ), the glottis is fully open and all the air bypasses the vocal cords. With the glottis firmly closed, all the air is forced over the vocal cords, producing a fully-voiced and typically male voiced sound. You need to try to find a 'semi-whispering' position that eliminates the fully-voiced sound with heavy resonance in the chest, and imparts a breathy quality to the voice. 6. You can hear the difference between voiced and unvoiced sounds by comparing S and Z sounds (say 'sss' and 'zzz' , and feel how your vocal cords vibrate on the Z but not the S). You're trying to find a midpoint between an unvoiced (whispered) sound, and a fully-voiced 'male' sound. 7. Try saying the word 'hay', and pay attention to how you change between the unvoiced H sound and the voiced A sound: say it very slowly ( 'hhhhhaaaay' ) and feel the change in the vocal cords as your voice slides from the unvoiced 'hhh' sound to the voiced 'aaa' vowel sound. Then try to stop before you reach the fully-voiced point, and you should be producing a soft, breathy (feminine) 'aaa' sound. 8. Then try to learn to always use that half-open position for all voiced sounds. This is simply a matter of practice. 9. Place emphasis with pitch, not volume : Upward intonation places emphasis. Men place emphasis in their speech by varying the loudness, but keep their pitch within a very narrow range; on the other hand women tend to keep their loudness much more constant but vary their pitch a great deal to express emphasis. 10. Speak slowly, enunciate clearly : Especially consonants at the beginning and end of words. Don't mumble; clear voice requires fairly big lip movements. On the whole, women enunciate much more clearly and precisely than men. 11. Pace your speech carefully : Start and end sentences slowly and gently; do not sound clipped. Do not 'swallow' pronouns, articles or other 'little words' at the beginning or end of sentences. Male speech tends to be characterized by what speech therapists call 'hard attack' --- the first syllable is pronounced very hard, and quickly. Women usually start a sentence more softly. 12. Use appropriate content : Men and women tend to talk about the same things in different ways; what you say contains gender cues, just as much as how you say it. Women tend to concentrate more on thoughts and feelings, while men concentrate on objects and actions. Men generally use more 'short cuts', colloquialisms and bad language, too. 13. A simple illustration is to imagine someone asking a friend if they are going to go for a drink after work. A male might say something like 'Coming down the pub?' : rather abrupt, using the minimum of words and concentrating on the desired action in a rather impersonal way.




Feminine Voice Techniques Part two
Continued from page 6

Voice Feminization
"It's funny that almost all speech therapists that help male-tofemale transsexuals tend to be female - next time you see your speech therapist ask them to sound like a convincing man. If they are Male - Jackpot! - see if they can sound convincingly female and watch them cringe! Then you could seriously say they are all talk!" Introduction Voice quality plays an essential role in speech communication. You accent can be an advantage or disadvantage for example a voice of Caribbean origins may be deeper in pitch than that of a European counterpart this can be an advantage for black transgender people. A welsh voice can sound more 'sing-songy' and be slightly higher by force of habit and dialect. So pitch and strength of voice can be very different yet sound feminine. And regional variations also apply. Other influences Smoking and medication can also affect the voice Loudness of the voice will also have an effect on perceived voice quality. Physiological, cultural and linguistic factors may operate independently, and voice quality can be modified to meet social needs. Taking female Hormones will not return your voice to a prepubescent state - unlike the notable masculine-izing effects that male hormones with female-to-Male transgender people have! SRS (Surgery) will not affect the voice either. The best way to improve the femininity of your male voice is by vocal exercise and practice. Techniques: Pitch Shifting Singing scales - La la la la la la LA! LA LA LA LA la! Shifting your pitch up and down! The Larynx (voice box) can be felt shifting up and down as you sing your scales. Place your hand gently against your Adam's Apple (Trachea). Now sing again! Feel it moving up and down? Ok now place your hand there again and as you sing your scales attempt to keep your Adam's Apple up. If you have access to a sound editing software and microphone cool edit for example - then you can try and hit the pitch exactly. Between 150-300hz or about the G middle C. Goldwave is a good free software package. You could also try software created by This Voice Recording Software by Becky Rose at Bansheestudios records your voice and plays it back, nothing special in itself, what is though is that by simply pressing and releasing the space key it allows you to work much faster, and focus on your voice rather than the interface of a complex sound program. ( Breathing over words -slightly!
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rather abrupt, using the minimum of words and concentrating on the desired action in a rather impersonal way. A woman might say 'Do you feel like going for a drink tonight?' : concentrating on her friend's feelings and desires, personal, and not abbreviated. 14. Pay attention to tongue position : The tongue is higher and flatter for female than for male. This gives 'dental' sounds (ones that involve the teeth, like T and D) a softer, breathier, almost sibilant quality in the female. Say 'tttt' in male mode, then 'ssss'; find the halfway position, that is the female position for the letters T and D; likewise for a TH sound, etc. Use plenty of air to get a breathy sound. 15. Hold your mouth in the right shape : A slight smile helps, and is the 'resting' facial expression for a woman anyway. 'Rounder' lips (a slight pout), and good lip movement, help produce a clearly enunciated voice. 16. Develop head resonance : One of the biggest problems facing TS women is, after learning to produce a soft, feminine voice, to then learn how to speak loudly when necessary without the voice returning to a masculine sound. Women gain loudness by using the cavities inside the head as a 'sounding box' whereas men use the chest. 17. To gain a louder feminine voice, develop head resonance rather than chest resonance --- open your mouth a little more, use more air, and 'push' your voice up into your head. Use Feedback : Record samples of your voice and listen to yourself. Read a passage of text, listen to yourself and keep practicing. It can be helpful to actually read these notes aloud, practicing each point as you read it. Then listen to yourself and successively refine your voice.




To Sound Like A Woman Part two
(Continued from page 1)

For female they selected: • High pitch • Wide pitch range • Gentle speech For males they selected: • Low pitch • Loud voice • Forceful speech Voice changes may be accomplished in several ways: 1. Relaxation and Breathing. It is impossible to practice voice exercises without being relaxed and using deep breathing techniques. Breathing must be from the level of the diaphragm giving maximum lung capacity. Without taking a deep breath it is impossible to do voice exercises without running out of breath when working on pitch, resonance, and intonation. 2. Pitch. Men have a larger voice box than women with thicker, larger vocal cords, which gives a lower pitch but, as has already been noted, the pitch range of males and females overlap. Females use a wider pitch range than men and are described as being more expressive and melodious in their speech. Pitch range can be extended by singing. It may be helpful to sing along with the radio or a CD - any way that will loosen up the voice box is useful. Exercises to produce a musical note that can glide up and down on supported breath should follow, then speaking the song using the same breath technique as for singing. Each phrase should be finished with a deep breath as in singing. Pitch can be raised by making a falsetto ('ah'), and bringing the pitch down as low as possible without breaking the voice and practice talking in a monotone on that note and gradually start to vary the pitch as you become comfortable with this pitch. This lowering the pitch can be combined by making a gargling sound which will automatically tighten up the throat, and the voice can be brought to the front of the mouth. The voice will resonate from exactly the same place with the lowest falsetto or the gargling. However increasing pitch without a change in resonance will not produce good female voice, and special attention must be given to the way a person coughs, laughs, and clears their throat. 3. Resonance. Resonance is perhaps the most important aspect of voice change. The aim is to develop head rather than chest resonance. This can be done by feeling vibration in the chest by humming and slowly raising the sound into the throat and into the mouth and nose. Changing resonance gives the illusion of raising the pitch. It is not where the voice is pitched, but what can be done with it. It is important not to strain the voice and damage the vocal cords. The client should start by practicing for a few min-

utes, and build up gradually. The focus of articulation should be at the tongue tip and lips to move the emphasis away from chest resonance. Slight breathy quality which is made by not quite bringing the vocal cords together, can feminize the voice. This requires careful monitoring so that the voice does not degenerate into a whisper that cannot be heard. 4. Intonation. Women use a wider range of intonation patterns than men. Men use more falling than rising tones, while women use more rising tones, giving the illusion of a higher pitch, men often talk in a monotone 5. Voice Quality. On the whole, women enunciate more clearly and precisely than men. They talk slower than men, with a softer delivery which involves breathing out slowly in a controlled way, during speech. Vowel sounds tend to be longer. Male voices on the other hand, have powerful staccato attack, and men generally speak more loudly than women. 6. Vocabulary and subject matter. The best advice is to listen to the way women speak and the vocabulary they use. Women tend to concentrate more on thoughts and feelings, while men concentrate on objects and actions. Men talk in a more direct manner. A simple illustration is to imagine someone asking a friend if they are going for a drink after work. A man might say rather abruptly "Coming down to the Pub?" using the minimum of words and concentrating on the desired action in rather an impersonal way. A woman might say " Do you feel like going for a drink tonight?" concentrating on the friend's feelings and desires, personal and not abbreviated. Women help themselves by being able to talk about their problems, and thinking about their feelings. Men are more reticent about these matters. It is said that men speak in a more aggressive blunt authoritarian manner, but women speak with a clearer enunciation, correct grammar, politeness and tend to talk about trivial topics. This may be changing as women are taking a more prominent position in society but these points still apply to some extent, and transsexuals must be aware of them as they must emphasize all aspects of femininity. Summary. • Women use more evaluative adjectives than men, e. g. 'lovely', 'delightful' but not to the extent that they might be mistaken for being "gay." • Women are better listeners. • Vocabulary is characterized by more words implying feeling and psychological state. • Women talk more slowly. • Men interrupt more than women.
(Continued on page 9)




To Sound Like A Woman Part three
• • •
Men talk in a more direct manner. Men demonstrate a greater sense of humor in speech. Men have a predominance to discuss subjects such as sport, politics, and business. Women are more concerned with people, relationships, and clothes. The importance of non-verbal behavior should not be forgotten. Male body language can be as big a give-away as a male sounding voice. • Women use more eye contact than men • Women nod and touch their hair and clothing more than men • Women smile more than men • Women use more gestures than men • Women walk with smaller strides, swing their hips and tuck their elbows in • Women cross their legs more than men • Men are more relaxed and expansive when sitting down, generally positioning their arms, and knees wide apart and holding their arms away from their bodies. • Men are more restless than women, exhibiting more postural shifts and foot movements. • Men take longer strides and walk by swinging their shoulders • Men put their hands in their pockets, women do not. There are a number of minor points, such as using your female name when answering the telephone, and waiting until a salesperson is facing you before speaking in shops. Where appearance and mannerisms are concerned, it is not how the public perceives a client but how the person perceives themselves. If the transsexual is satisfied with their appearance, voice, and mannerisms, they will be a success in their preferred role. The role of a Speech and Language Therapist is multi-focal, firstly to achieve acceptable voice and body language, secondly listen and advise about any problems that may arise to help the transsexual gain self confidence in their preferred role in society.

Voice Feminization Part two
Continued from page 7

This can be a useful technique, if you do drag then you can go for it! But realistically you must just apply this ever so gently to your speech. It is essential you avoid whispering but at the same time that tinge of whisper can soften a voice considerably! Voice quality is a multi-dimensional component of fluent speech determined both culturally and physiologically. Female speakers have breathier voices than men, with a tendency for increased breathiness at higher pitches. And breathier at the higher end of their fundamental frequency ranges in connected speech. Vvoice quality varies with social situation and speaking task, and the correlation of breathiness with fundamental frequency may be task-dependent. In particular, sustained vowels may not hold when connected speech is examined. Shorter contact ratios correlate with breathy voice quality. The tongue is higher and flatter for female than for male. This gives 'dental' sounds (ones that involve the teeth, like T and D) a softer, breathier, almost sibilant quality in the female. Say 'tttt' in male mode, then 'ssss'; find the halfway position, that is the female position for the letters T and D; likewise for a TH sound, etc. Use plenty of air to get a breathy sound. Marilyn Monroe's breathless speech can if toned down really help feminize speech listen to her here Listen to a Marilyn Monroe sound file here! ( Raising the end of a sentence Although this is context specific (and accent dependent) raising your pitch at the end of a sentence is a good habit for MT-F transgender speakers. It also 'lightens' your delivery tending to make you smile more.

A transsexual sums up their change in this way: "Opening the bottom half of a stable door with the top half already open . . . . it lets you walk into the sunshine."

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Top Tips
Avoid the camp voice - Julian Clary is a nono Concentrate more on thoughts and feelings, whereas men concentrate on objects and actions. Men generally use more 'short cuts', slang and swear. Avoid sounding like Mickey Mouse Avoid looking bashful and staring at your feet! Avoid whispering - although a semi-whisper maybe all you can get to sound feminine - remember if people can't hear you they will concentrate more on you rather than you speaking a bit deeper and moving on quickly. Keep you mouth less open - ahhhhhhhhh! Becomes ohhhhhhhhh! Don't Shout! You can speak loudly, but anger is a dead give away! Slow down the speed you speak a little - this not only gives you time to think it also sounds more considered. Mix Body Language with the way you speak Start and end sentences slowly and gently Push your speech up into the top of the throat away from the chest. Record yourself speaking or ask friends to comment - don't be offended if they say negative things - this will take time to get right! June:Acceptance