The first of a total of 18 articles published on transgender voice appeared in the Journal of voice in June 2006. It would be over 2 years before the next paper was published. Fast forward to 2017, during which a full 10 manuscripts can be found in the Journal in a single year. This publication history reflects the emergence of the transgender voice as a current and important issue paralleling social evolution and change. All of the articles deal with the male to female transgender voice except for one, in keeping with the observed prevalence.
A review of the published articles reveals some interesting trends. Earlier reports focused on voice feminization using voice therapy techniques alone. Results were reported in a variety of ways, making it difficult to assess the success of one voice therapy approach over another. The need for valid and reliable assessment tools led to the development and validation of the Transgender Voice Questionnaire Male to Female (TVQMtF). This important evaluation instrument is featured within some of the articles included herein, as well as its translation into both Spanish and Portuguese.
Although vocal therapy and exercises are clearly an integral component of treatment in transsexual individuals, it became clear that in many individuals additional feminization was required. A number of surgical approaches emerged in the Journal literature beginning in 2013. Those discussed include creation of an anterior web, cricothyroid approximation and Wendler’s glottoplasty. These techniques are described either as used alone or in combination when additional feminization is necessary. In one review of the literature in this collection focused on pitch-raising surgical techniques, Van Damme et al (1) evaluate 20 articles, concluding that surgery is indeed effective in raising fundamental frequency. The authors comment on the fact that there are no randomized studies with a control group among the papers, highlighting the need for additional research in this increasingly important area.