I’ve been thinking alot about testosterone lately. I’ve gone from thinking I didn’t want it at all to actively seeking out excuses about why I can’t take it. Today, that excuse is my voice. I’m a singer, and T would change my voice. It wouldn’t change my ear but I would have to re-learn how to use my vocal chords to sing. The idea of my voice changing into something unknown is rather terrifying.
But let’s balance this fear out with a little reality, shall we? I was a professional musician for about 10 years. During that time, I was a cigarette smoker. I could easily smoke a whole pack at a gig. Not once did I think about quitting smoking for the health of my voice. I smoked for 12 years, and in the end I didn’t quit for my voice, I quit because my GF didn’t like it.
I started looking for stories online of trans men musicians to see if I could find out a little more about why some musicians opted for T and other didn’t. One of the more visible trans guys on the music scene these days is Lucas Silveira of The Cliks. In this NPR interview, he elaborates on why being a musician had to come before being male.
I also exchanged some emails with Coyote Joe Stevens, and he provided some helpful information about exactly what happened with his changing voice, tips for how I might adjust to the changes, and the names of a couple of other trans men musicians, who I looked up online to hear samples of T-changed voices.
As for reference material, Trans Care BC’s website has a page with resources called Changing Speech.
OK, so I experience trepidation at the idea of my voice changing. On the flip side, I could also argue that T might make me feel more like me, and if that’s the case, then wouldn’t I be able to get behind my singing even more?