Before her surgery, Summer’s voice had become such a source of dysphoria that, in public, she had stopped speaking altogether. Here she shares her journey with the London Voice and Swallowing Clinic.
I started transitioning at 17. My experience was pretty positive on the whole because to look at me, no one knew I was trans. Unfortunately, that changed when I spoke, as my voice had always been on the low side. People would increasingly draw attention to it when I was in a social setting. Saying I had a deep voice for a girl, or that they would never have known I was trans, if I hadn’t spoken.
Sadly this became more and more of a problem and I started to get a complex to the point where I found being in a social setting crippling, and I would either not talk or, if I did, I would reduce my voice to a whisper. It even got to the stage where I would have my friends order on my behalf in a restaurant. It was bad.
I had been researching voice feminisation surgery for some time, initially thinking I was going to have to travel to South Korea. Then my friend and I came across a video on YouTube of Ruby Fiera, who had been treated by Mr Al Yaghchi.
We did our research and realised that we could have the surgery we wanted here in the UK.
I opted for the Wendler’s Glottoplasty with tracheal shave. As with any surgery the results aren’t guaranteed so I was really anxious that I wouldn’t be able to achieve the raise in pitch that I was hoping for and that, after surgery, I would do something that would negatively impact the results.
In a way I was lucky because my friend had the surgery a couple of months ahead of me and seeing her go through the process and have such incredible results was a huge confidence boost.
The results have literally been life-changing. It seems like such an obvious point to make but being able to do the simple things like order food, speak to someone in a busy room, call across the street, generally make myself heard, it has totally impacted my life for the better. For so long I had lived with a voice which did not belong to me and the surgery gave me the voice I should always have had.
It’s crazy to think that before surgery, my voice was the first thing that I would think about when I was in a social setting, now it’s the last!