A speech pathologist has created an app to assist transgender people learning how to change the pitch and tone of their voices, an important part of “passing.”
Speech pathologist Kathe Perez, who has years of experience with transgender clients, explained during a radio interview with WBUR’s CommonHealth, “Many of the people I work with will not go out into public because they have to talk. Or, they will go with people so that the wife or friend will order for them at a restaurant – because they’re afraid to open their mouths because the voice that comes out doesn’t match the person sitting at that table.”
Hormone therapy has little impact on how a voice sounds. While voice-changing surgery is available, it carries both a significant risk of permanent damage and a relatively low success rate, rendering it generally inadvisable.
Consequently, most transsexuals find that voice therapy, also known as voice training, are necessary to produce a voice that matches their appearance. However, not every person in transition has access to transgender-friendly voice trainers—thus, Perez developed Eva, “The World’s FIRST and ONLY Transgender Voice Training App!”
The About page for Eva (short for “Exceptional Voice App”) describes her as “a suite of voice training mobile application products. She was born out of the ever-growing need we all have to make efficient use of our time and energy. It’s no surprise how difficult it is to change a voice. Eva will guide you step-by-loving-step over a series of lessons and courses. She will work tirelessly on your behalf to instruct beginners through advanced students on your journeys to a beautiful voice.”
The app comes in multiple courses to guide users through a number of breathing exercises and voice lessons. The About page notes, “It’s no surprise how difficult it is to change a voice. Eva will guide you step-by-loving-step over a series of lessons and courses. She will work tirelessly on your behalf to instruct beginners through advanced students on your journeys to a beautiful voice.”
Eva is available with all iDevices running iOS 4.3 or later, but due to hardware limitations, Eva is only compatible for Android users with the Samsung Galaxy S3.
Each course costs $4.99, with some specifically intended for male-to-female users and others for female-to-male. At present, there are five courses for MTF users and two for FTM, with more planned.
VoxPop, the company behind Eva, estimates that it will take users at least six to twelve months to refine and master their altered voices.