Nicola Redhouse is a Melbourne-based writer and the author of Unlike the Heart: A Memoir of Brain and Mind.
“I’ve got a deep voice and a twang. I need to get the voice matching the body,” Tracy says, gesturing from her head down to her feet.
Tracy is among five people seated around an assembly of industrial-grey tables in a small room bordered by whiteboards and one-way mirrors. They are about to begin a program at Melbourne’s La Trobe University Voice Clinic, in the hope of gaining a communication style that better aligns with the gender with which they identify. “You can wear everything feminine,” says Tracy, “but you open your mouth and you’ll get stares.”
The Voice Clinic is both a tertiary training facility and a treatment centre, and is run by clinicians who oversee the final-year speech-pathology students. The students will take the clients through the program – including group sessions such as today’s Education Day, and individual training – under the...