San Francisco Voice and Swallowing

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Unlocking the voice in your heart

How would you like your voice to reflect your gender? What about finding that voice that truly resonates with who YOU are? Our goal in Passaggio, San Francisco Voice and Swallowing’s Gender Affirmative Voice and Communication Program is to help you find your authentic voice, and for that voice to feel easy and sustainable. We are here to honor your preferences, while giving you the tools to access a spectrum of vocal possibilities.

There is much more than the pitch of the voice that can contribute to gender perception. In fact, shifting pitch and resonance together are the two most important factors. Other areas that may or may not be targeted, depending on your preferences, include (but are not limited to) intonation, non-verbal communication, articulation, reflexive sounds, and more. Voice therapy can maximize ease and efficiency of voice, in an accessible pitch range that is more congruent with one’s gender identity. Most people we work with find that voice therapy is all that is needed to find their most authentic voice.

Surgical options are also available, as needed. Surgery can be performed to adjust the appearance of one’s neck. Pitch modification surgery in conjunction with voice therapy is another potential option. Because the surgery only addresses pitch, voice therapy will help you to address resonance and other voice and speech targets, as well as to ensure you have the tools to optimize post-surgery healing. Rehabilitation after pitch modification surgery can be quite arduous. Because everyone’s needs are unique, the team works together with you so that you are fully informed of the risks and benefits of pitch modification surgery before deciding if that is an appropriate route for you.

Our voice center is the first in the country with a gender affirmative voice program that is trans and non-binary led, thus bringing a level nuance and understanding to this work that is rare. Aside from being experienced voice specialists, we are leaders in the field of gender affirmative voice, and we are revolutionizing the way in which our medical colleagues are caring for you. Trans or cis, the members of our interdisciplinary team are deeply committed to ensuring that you get the best possible care, and that your experience with us is euphoric.

Supporting trans/non-binary/gender non-conforming voices extends beyond what we do here in the clinic. It is one of Passaggio’s missions to support the health of the trans community as a whole. Each quarter, a portion of our proceeds are going to a local or national community organization.

Black trans lives matter! Aside from the current COVID-19 pandemic there is current global momentum to address the public health emergency that is racism. Due to highly disproportionate harmful impact of policing, violence, and incarceration on black trans lives, a portion of our proceeds are going to support the TGI Justice project, a group that is led by and serves transgender, gender variant, and intersex people who are currently or formerly incarcerated. To learn more and to join us in donating to this organization, go here: Support Black Trans Leadership.

One of our goals with Passaggio is to train other trans leaders in gender affirmative voice training. We are available for shadowing and training opportunities for trans/non-binary/gender non-conforming speech language pathology students.


[puh - sah - gee - oh]

  1. Bridge, crossing, passageway
  2. Transition or middle part of the singing range
  3. Gender affirmative voice program at San Francisco Voice and Swallowing



Transgender Voice and Communication

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