Happy Customer – Transgender Voice

“The sessions I had with you increased my confidence in my voice no end. One measure of the success of your input is that I cannot think of a single instance when I have been mis-gendered during a telephone conversation. I completed all the physical aspects of my journey by the end of 2014, and since then it’s just been a matter of getting on with my life: I’m happier now than I’ve ever been.”

J, 2017

 

“Working with Susannah was instructive, confidence-building and fun. As an older transgender male-to-female, I found her mix of guidance, information and encouragement just what I needed as I transitioned publicly. We were able to talk together about the issues that matter and that affect more than just the voice; and she was sensitive and direct, so I felt I made quick but solid progress, and I now feel happy that I found my new and honest voice. And she was able to provide support through her links with other transgender clients. I was sorry when we completed the training – I’ll miss the sessions.”

M, 2017

 

“Susannah has helped to change my life beyond my voice; a lovely human and an excellent professional. I cannot recommend her highly enough.”

E, 2017

 

“A review from a trans women perspective: Since coming out I have struggled with a passing, a large portion of this is due to my voice. Susannah has been more than professional, she has been friendly, helpful and inspiring, going as far showing me blogs of successful other trans women. Susannah tailored her lessons for me, explaining the anatomy of the voice in detail helping me learn how to control my voice, speaking in a manner much more like me.
I am ecstatic to say since learning to use my voice properly I have been able to pass much more efficiently, I can not thank her enough :)”
C, 2018

Local Transgender Links and Info

Pinterest Board

I’m really proud of my Transgender Pinterest Board.

It’s got all of the recent documents from the NHS and Royal College of Psychiatry on it, as well as lots of other information from places like Gires.

pinterest.com/sbvoicetherapy/transgender

 

Following comments from clients I’ve started a second board. This one has videos of women whose voices my transgender clients like. Have a look and see what you think.

pinterest.com/sbvoicetherapy/transgender-voice-role-models/

 

Gender Identity Clinic

The Laurels is our local GIC. It is in Exeter in a lovely building in the centre of town. The team there are very supportive and there are a few groups run by their users.

GPs can refer directly to them.

devonpartnership.nhs.uk/The-Laurels

 

Mindline’s New Trans+ Helpline

  • Mindline Trans+ is a confidential emotional, mental health support helpline and signposting service for people who identify as Trans, A Gender, Gender Fluid, Non-binary, their families and their friends.
  • The Mindline Trans+ provides a safe place to talk about your feelings confidentially. They don’t record calls nor ask for any personal details.
  • Their specially trained volunteers are here to listen and offer our support.
  • They are based in the South West of England.

 

Hair removal

Karyn and Rosie run Somerset Electrolysis in Shepton Mallet. They are very experienced working with Transgender women.

somerset-electrolysis.co.uk

A bit closer to home in north Bristol Helen Percicoe runs the Sprindell Clinic and has experience working with Transgender women.

springdellclinic.co.uk

Lucie Rice runs Bristol Electrolysis and has training from Sterex International for hair removal for transgender people. She works in Sea Mills from the Collistear Beauty salon.

http://www.bristolelectrolysis.co.uk

Private Online GP

Dr Webberley is a GP with an NHS practice in South Wales. She has specialist qualifications in Sexual Health and has developed a keen interest in helping people with gender issues. She recognises that the NHS doesn’t always deliver the advice, care and treatment that people need and has set up a very low cost private option to help with medical issues. She can prescribe hormone treatment where appropriate and is able to advise on and organise monitoring as required. Her advice is always fee, the only costs incurred are if medical hormone treatment is required.

gendergp.co.uk

Counselling and Psychotherapy

Julia Robinson works in private practice in Bristol BS3

She is a fully qualified Psychotherapeutic Counsellor (UKCP Registered) with 15+ years experience

She works with people on the transgender spectrum and can include partners and family members of people in transition either together and/or separately.

To see her profile please go to www.pinktherapy.com and put her details in under “Find a therapist”

Contact:   juliarobinson65@gmail.com  0117 963 9092 or 07906 316 401

 

Claire Nunan is also a Pink Therapy trained counsellor. She works in Clifton.

http://clairenunan.co.uk

 

Dawn McHale is a Counsellor and Therapist working in Bristol.

Have a look at her website and give her a call if you would like to see her:

bristolcreativecounsellingandsupervision.co.uk

 

Make-up

Caroline Collis owns and runs Collistear Beauty in Sea Mills. Lucie Rice, the electrologist, works from her salon. Caroline can provide make-up lessons for transgender women; both for cover up and general make-up.

http://www.collistearbeauty.co.uk

 

Styling

I’d like to introduce you to Gilly Montgomery.

She is a Colour and Image Consultant for House of Colour.

Gilly has a background in psychotherapy and is an expert in helping people discover their style.

She is happy to see people individually or in a small group of 3-4.

houseofcolour.co.uk/gillymontgomery

 

The lovely Karen Lowe is an Image Consultant and Personal Stylist in Bristol. Have a look at her website here:

karenl.co.uk

Local Groups

The Bristol Crossroads group has been supporting the transgender community in and around Bristol, under various names, for over 25 years. They hold regular monthly meetings (on the 4th Saturday of the month), why not pop along?

bristol-crossroads.org.uk

 

Avon Trans People would love to hear from you. They are a support group for Male-to-Female gender reassignment, pre & post operative transsexuals, and also for those who have yet to decide and need someone to talk to.

http://www.avontranspeople.org.uk

 

The intention behind TransBristol is to create a safe space where trans identified people in the Bristol area can share ideas, provide support and plan things.

transbristol.wordpress.com

They  have an active, and very friendly Facebook Group:

facebook.com/groups/transbristol

 

LGBTBristol is a local organisation championing LGBT in the community. They can provide some individual support

lgbtbristol.org.uk

 

Freedom Youth is the Trans Group from OTR in Bristol. They meet regularly.

otrbristol.org.uk/what-we-do

facebook.com/freedomyouthlgbtq

 

Gendered Intelligence run the newest Trans Youth Group in the city

genderedintelligence.co.uk/trans-youth/Bristol

Top Tips for “Passing”

 

These are not necessarily to do with your voice, but are to do with “passing”.

If the people that you meet are unsure of your gender they are likely to either ignore or abuse you. Your enemy here is gender ambiguity. Generally if you give enough cues to people to nudge them in the “female” direction, they will accept it and address you as such.

 

Top tip 1

Choosing your name. Not many people get to choose their own name. It is a bit like being your own parent! The best names to choose are unambiguously female names. You don’t need to be called Crystal or Fifi Trixibelle (though of course you can if you like!), Sarah or Jane are just fine, but Jo and Sam are ambiguous and don’t give enough cues to people to nudge them in the direction you want.

Top tip 2

Answering the phone and making calls. With your new gender obvious name always start a phone conversation with “Hello, it’s Sarah (Jane or Crystal!). This works both if you are making a call, or answering the phone and again, gives a useful cue. On the telephone people can’t see you, and your voice and name is all they have to go on.

Top Tip 3

Clothes. You don’t need to wear a skirt or dress all the time, and it’s not all about frills and flowers. Look around you, few women do. But be careful of presenting as androgynous.
Some “new” women can also get a bit giddy and go through almost an adolescent phase as the hormones and relief at finally getting going on their journey kick in.

Again, look around you. What sort of style do you like? Look in magazines

Top Tip 4

Those little touches. Though some people have to wear heavy makeup, some are lucky not to. If you are in this position I suggest that you still use a little lippy and/or eye makeup and some jewellery. Again it is a visual cue to nudge.

What happens at an appointment?

 

Assessment

Your first appointment will last an hour. At this appointment I will take a detailed case history from you. This will include your medical history, transgender history and lifestyle. I will take some baselines of your voice and will teach you how your voice works and will give you tailored exercises to start you on the process of feminising your voice. None of this is physically invasive.

You may be asked to consult your GP about health issues that could be affecting your voice. If your voice is hoarse I will ask that you be referred to the ENT consultant (see here)

Specialist Software

You will be asked to purchase the Student Package of Sing and See software to use to practice at home. This software is available both for PC and Mac.

Click here to be transferred to the Sing and See website for a copy of the software.


Therapy

Therapy appointments will usually last half an hour and tend to include following up on previous advice and exercises to practice at home.

Therapy sessions can involve quite a lot of problem solving to work out how to make the necessary changes needed to feminise your voice and become a more complete woman.

Sometimes therapy can be quite challenging for people as they think and learn about themselves in ways they have not done before. We will explore what type of woman you are now and wish to be in the future. I will support you through this process.

Transgender Voice Feminisation


What is voice feminisation therapy?

Voice feminisation therapy for transgender clients is a specialist area of speech and language therapy. It combines acoustic assessment, visual feedback (using specialist software), strategies and support for pitch change, resonance, intonation, body language and visual cues.

In therapy I guide you and teach you strategies to make this huge change.