“We know when people are really authentic and helpful to us, not just being an expert, making pronouncements on our lives and remaining in their own bubble.”
hi there - nice to see you!
gender-diversepeople aren't the specialism. gender-affirmingvoice exploration is.
you aren't the expert.
bottom line: trans people are people.
Maybe we've met before, maybe we've not. I hope both new and familiar faces feel welcome on the site and that you learn something that you can take away and apply to your practice. Whether you work in voice or not, you will meet trans and non-binary people in the course of your work. Trans people are parents, stroke survivors and health service managers too so it's important to be culturally competent and know how to work respectfully with the community.
If you're new to working with trans and non-binary people, I'd suggest taking a look at the Terminology page. There you'll find an ever-expanding list of terms used by the community. First step towards building trust - be mindful of the language you use. Trans people bring with them a history of being pathologised, erased and challenged. They have been made to feel like second-class citizens. This is not OK. If you work in the UK, you're working in a society that privileges cis people's rights and comforts above those of all other genders. Recognise your cis privilege - if you identify as cis - and take your first step towards being mindful of the power and privilege imbalance you bring with you to work.
"What? But I've been working in voice for years!" Sorry, but you're not in your service user's head or body. You don't know what life is like for them, no more than they know what life is like for you. You can't presume what they want or need from you. But you can ask. And the answers may well surprise you.
Listen to their beautifully diverse queer voices. See what you learn about how they see the world and how you see the world. You'll be thankful for the learning, believe me.
I look forward to helping you learn more about this rewarding field of speech and language therapy.