“My Voice Is My Identity”: The Role of Voice for Trans Women's Participation in Sport Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • This study explored trans women's experience and awareness of their vocal communication and voice use within sporting environments.Mixed methods study.Twenty trans women were interviewed about their voice use and vocal communication during sport and its impact on their level of participation. The participants also completed the Transsexual Voice Questionnaire for Male-to-Female Transsexuals.Three core themes emerged from analysis of the interview data. These were: importance of voice in a sport setting, voice production in sporting environments, and psychosocial moderators of voice within the sporting environment. Trans women perceived their voices to be the main barrier to their participation in sport. These women reported that the strong gendered environment of sport made them anxious that they would not be identified as women because their voice was not always congruent with their physical appearance. However, maintaining feminine voice was deemed less critical if participants felt comfortable at their sporting club and had strong relationships with their teammates and coaches. Findings from the Transsexual Voice Questionnaire for Male-to-Female Transsexuals supported the interview data as to the impact that voice has in the lives of trans women.Voice is critical for trans women who wish to integrate and be accepted as women in sporting environments. Participants suggested that voice training should target achieving a gender congruent voice and include minimalizing perceived barriers such as vocal fatigue and maintaining adequate breath support.

publication date

  • 2018