Today we’d like to introduce you to Eryn Gitelis.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
After moving to Los Angeles, I took a brief sojourn to Florida in 2012 where I graduated from the University of Central Florida with my MA in Speech Pathology. During my studies, my voice class had two PowerPoints related to transgender voice modification. This interested me since most of my friends were part of the LGBTQIA community. I didn’t know this type of modification existed, but of course it does! I had a lot of questions and many could not be answered due to the lack of research on the subject. I ended up doing a research paper on transgender voice and became fascinated with what I found. I decided that this would be my area of expertise. I enrolled in voice classes, did much more research, and developed a program for voice feminization.
I began this program six years ago and currently 98% of my clients are transgender women and about 2% are transgender men or gender fluid/gender non-conforming/non-binary individuals. The reason the population of women is so high is because when transgender males take testosterone, their voice is typically lowered about an octave and many are satisfied with their voice at that point. Female voice feminization is complex and can require practice for many individuals. The major target areas during voice modification sessions are pitch, fluency, intonation, resonance, breath support, articulation, and voice quality. I am currently developing a voice feminization app that should be available in two months which can be used by clinicians and/or clients.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The road has been a relatively smooth one. I think when beginning any business or program, there are challenges and learning curves to overcome. When I first started, there were not many workshops or books out there providing intervention techniques to develop the preferred voice. Most of my current program was created through research surrounding voice therapy in general and then trial and error. After six years of experience, I am able to see patterns and areas that are difficult for the majority of clients and this has helped me find different commonly helpful strategies and fine tune my program that I customize for each client. Most rewarding of all is that as my clients become more confident about their voice I see their self-esteem grow, I see them overcoming previous fears and developing confidence to face the world as their authentic self.
PRYDE Voice and Speech Therapy – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I am a speech-language pathologist who owns PRYDE Voice and Speech Therapy. I specialize in gender spectrum voice modification, but the majority of my clients focus on voice feminization. I began this company before there was a lot of information known about how to target voice for the transgender population. I am very proud that I have had the opportunity to develop a program that makes individuals feel confident and aligns with their true gender identity. I feel what sets me apart is my therapy style. I truly enjoy getting to know each of my clients personally and keep sessions very informal and friendly. During the course of my program, we spend a lot of time having conversations to develop and practice voice modification. Throughout the course of our time together many of my clients become actual friends.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
When working with clients, I define success in many ways. Success is clients achieving their voice modification goals. Success is the individual achieving a voice they feel confident and comfortable using in their everyday life. Success is helping a client find a voice that makes them feel truly aligned with who they are and one less preoccupation to worry about. For many of my clients, success is being able to “pass” in society as their true gender. Success to me means growing and learning more everyday so I can be a better clinician, person, and friend. It’s being able to help improve people’s lives while doing what I love.
- 90-Minute 1:1 Session for $150
- 50-Minute 1:1 Session for $100
- 30-Minute 1:1 Session for $60
- Website: www.prydevoiceandspeechtherapy.com
- Phone: 847-826-9047
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @prydevoice
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/prydevoiceandspeechtherapy
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/pryde-voice-and-speech-therapy-marina-del-rey-3