Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders (MS)

Degree Level



Rehabilitation, Human Resources and Communication Disorders


Bonnie Slavych

Committee Member

Andrew Bowers

Second Committee Member

Jessica Danley


assessment, authenticity, identity, phenomenology, therapy, transgender, transmasculine, voice


The objective of this study was to learn how transmasculine individuals perceive the quality and function of their voices, and how those perceptions influence how they experience gender identity and communicate with others. This qualitative study adopted a hermeneutical phenomenological approach that involved using content analysis and thematic analysis to describe and interpret phenomena. This approach assumes that the researcher is not biased, but is a part of the world being studied and, therefore, understands the phenomenon by interpretive means. Saturation was achieved when all relevant information was introduced, and patterns of information had been identified. Sixteen interviews were conducted. Five themes and 20 subthemes emerged during data analysis. Themes included: My Masculine Voice, Education and Resources, Acceptance and Support, Authenticity, and Pandemic. Subthemes included Vocal Satisfaction, Vocal Quality, Suprasegmentals and Stylistic Elements, The Voice on Testosterone, Changes to Appearance, Free to Speak Like Me, Code Switching, Access to Care, Cultural Competence, Vocabulary and Language for Self-Exploration, Family Support, Opinions of Others, Self-Acceptance, Authentic Voice, and Authentic Identity. Pitch was of primary concern for voice masculinization, however other descriptions were offered such as smooth, powerful, resonant, and commanding. The function of the voice seemed as important to the participants as the qualities of the voice itself; a voice that is perceived as masculine, taken seriously, and effective. Above all, authenticity was of primary concern, having a voice that truthfully represents the identity and experience of the individual. The mind, the body, and the voice are inextricably linked and must be considered together.