The Psychological Impact of Voice Dysphoria

Explore the psychological impact of voice dysphoria on transgender and gender diverse individuals and learn how voice training and community support can help.

May 16, 2024
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Written by Undead Voice Founder, Speech-Language Pathologist and Voice Transition Expert, Nicole Gress (she/they)

What is Voice Dysphoria?

If you're part of the transgender or gender diverse (TGD) community, there's a significant chance that you've experienced voice dysphoria—about 85% of us do. Voice Dysphoria can be described as the emotional turmoil you feel from having a voice that doesn't reflect your true identity. This dissonance can dig deep into your psyche, affecting how you see yourself and how you think others perceive you.

"Voice dysphoria for me is like wearing a mask that I cannot take off. Every time I speak, it reminds me that the voice isn't mine." — UVL Member

Understanding Voice Dysphoria

This deep-seated issue goes beyond mere discomfort—it's a pervasive feeling that your voice betrays your true self. Imagine every interaction starting with the underlying fear that your voice will not reflect who you are, leading to misgendering and misunderstanding. The constant anxiety and stress can be exhausting and isolating, impacting every facet of your life.

Psychological Effects

As you might know, or even experience, the impact of voice dysphoria on the TGD community is both vast and intense. It's often ranked among the top three sources of dysphoria. Struggling with your voice can severely affect your mental health. This form of dysphoria leads to isolation, complicating the already challenging processes of coming out both personally and professionally. The professional implications are particularly significant, as your voice can affect career opportunities, professional interactions, and workplace dynamics, often dictating how confidently you navigate these arenas. In fact, 65% of TGD employee's report choosing not to speak in the workplace, for fear of judgment and harassment.

"Every work meeting is a challenge; I'm constantly wondering if they’re listening to my anxiety or my expertise." — UVL Member

Impact on Daily Life

If you’re not a member of the TGD community, the most impactful thing you can do is become an empathetic ally. Though it pales in comparison, I want you to imagine the anxiety you might feel when preparing to speak in front of a group, the flurry of worried thoughts about how you will be perceived, whether people think you’re credible, and whether you’re remember what you need to say in a way that sounds confident and competent. Now, imagine feeling that anxiety consistently, every time you speak. For many of us in the TGD community, we of course have similar anxieties often referred to as imposter syndrome. Yet, on top of these common concerns, there is a pervasive worry about how our voice is perceived, fearing it might betray our identity and expose us to judgment or discrimination. This level of constant anxiety can significantly impair your ability to engage socially and professionally.

"I dread every phone call, meeting, dinner, and date. My fear is that people hearing me speak are constantly thinking ‘they sound trans’." — UVL Member

Benefits of Addressing Voice Dysphoria

Addressing voice dysphoria is pivotal and often begins with voice training—shaping your voice into an instrument that not only sounds authentic but also feels right to you. Voice training offers a direct route to alleviating some of the psychological strain, but for many, therapy is also essential to tackle the ingrained emotional patterns associated with your previous voice experiences. In Undead Voice Lab we’ve worked with over 5000+ TGD people to transition their voice to one that’s affirming, and their personal stories demonstrate time and again how transformative this journey can be. We’ve witnessed the most profound shifts in confidence and growth when one of our members creates a voice they love. 

"Finding my undead voice was like meeting myself for the first time." — UVL Member

The Role of Community in Voice Transition

The journey of voice transition is unique and personal, yet shared struggles and experiences is one of the unique ways the TGD community sees, affirms, and bonds with one another. There’s an immense power in undertaking a voice transition journey in community with those who share your lived-experience. Community based programs offer emotional support, practical advice, and the reassurance that you are not alone in this journey. This community-centric approach empowers individuals to share their fears, successes, and insights, which not only enriches their own voice transition experience but also supports others on the same path. While your individual progress is crucial, community support plays an indispensable role in sustaining long-term well-being. Platforms like Undead Voice Lab underscore the importance of a community-centric approach to voice transition. 


The psychological impact of voice dysphoria is profound, touching every aspect of life for individuals in the transgender and gender diverse community. Addressing this dysphoria is not merely a matter of personal comfort but a crucial step towards holistic health and social integration. Your journey of voice transition, supported by training, therapy, and a strong community, is one of reclaiming your voice and moving towards a future where every person is heard and valued. Our mission at Undead Voice is to help you transition your voice, and transform your life.