Voice therapy, surgery available for those who identify as transgender and want voice to fit appearance

Anna Lichtenstein, a voice therapist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, works with Ari Toumpas on her voice resonance and intonation. Toumpas is a transgender woman and voice care to help her sound more like herself has been an important part of her transition. (Ohio State University)

For many that identify as transgender, how others perceive them involves their appearance and how they sound.

While hormone replacement can help alter the voice of trans-men, the same is not always valid for trans-women.

But voice therapy can help make the transition a little easier.

Anna Lichtenstein from The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center says that her treatment is typically 10 weeks of ongoing therapy sessions that help modify different parameters of one’s voice.

The vocal therapy professional works with patients who have gone through surgery that changes the length of a person’s vocal cords that can permanently change voice pitch and frequency.

For many transgender people, how others perceive them involves their outward appearance and how they sound. It's an attribute that can be difficult to change. Monday (June 6) night, we're looking at a special program that helps transgender people find their best voice.

“Not every trans person wants to have a different voice. Not every trans person needs to have a different voice, but for the ones that do want it, haven an affordable, safe and effective learning environment is incredibly important,” said Ari Toumpas, one of Lichtenstein’s patients.

According to the university’s website, therapy and surgery are a part of a broad range of surgical, non-surgical and mental health care services offered at the school’s medical center and are available for transgender, non-binary and gender non-conforming patients.

Experts say that many online resources offer voice alternating advice and exercises. It is recommended to see a professional voice therapist to avoid strain and prevent damage to vocal cords.

Click here to learn more about Ohio State University’s programs.

Check out more LGBTQ+ news happening in Metro Detroit 🏳️‍🌈:

It’s Pride month: Here is your festival guide across Michigan

I am she: Trans woman opens up about her journey, drive to reshape the conversation

About the Authors:

You can watch Kimberly Gill weekdays anchoring Local 4 News at 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. and streaming live at 10 p.m. on Local 4+. She's an award-winning journalist who finally called Detroit home in 2014. Kim has won Regional Emmy Awards, and was part of the team that won the National Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Newscast in 2022.