Finding a voice in identity and music
Chick Falcon began her transition into a woman five years ago when she started her band, The Daddy Sisters. She has been looking into ways to feminize her voice, potentially creating a different vocal range as lead singer of the band.
Falcon plays one of her many guitars at a show at Revolution 91.7's Mayhem Festival on April 14th, 2023.
The bright yellow house on Park Street stands out amongst its neighbors. It is a musician's paradise, with stacks of amps, vintage keyboards, and video game consoles lining the walls.

Chick Falcon, a local rockstar and founding member of the Daddy Sisters band, owns the chaotic but organized space, with instruments and recording equipment strewn about. Falcon picks up a vintage guitar and begins to strum a few chords, her fingers moving easily across the fretboard.

"I've always been drawn to vintage instruments," Falcon says. "There's just something special about the sound they produce. I started refurbishing them as a hobby, but it quickly turned into a business."

Chick Falcon and the band are a staple piece of the Bowling Green music scene and have been around for almost five years.
Falcon has always been the lead singer and guitar player.
“The Daddy Sisters allowed me to tip toe into that realm. First, I only presented [feminine] in the band, and…it made me feel great. Then I started presenting fem outside of the band,”

~ Chick Falcon.

Falcon performs at Western Kentucky University's 20th anniversary of the Mayhem Festival as the crowd took in the sounds on the South Lawn. This was the Daddy Sisters' second time being invited to play in the annual music festival.

Falcon's journey in the music scene began during her time as a student at Western Kentucky University. She would attend house shows in Bowling Green, immersing herself in the vibrant local music scene. It was during this time that she was introduced to the concept of trans-identities.

After learning more about the gender spectrum from her college peers, Falcon began to reflect on her own gender expression.

"I identified as gender fluid. I was basically learning about my own gender," she explained. "I've always kind of suppressed it, but after learning more, I just said, 'let's do it.'"

The Daddy Sisters band became an outlet for Falcon to express her gender identity. As the lead singer and guitar player, Falcon could use her music to explore her gender expression and share her experiences with others.

The band's music is a unique blend of rock and punk with lyrics that tackle themes of self-acceptance and pride. Falcon's voice is powerful and emotive, conveying a range of emotions with each note.
Falcon’s transition includes vocal therapy which affects her singing in the band. She has been training with a professional to move her voice into a more feminine range.

Vocal surgery has risks that could possibly damage Falcon's singing voice so she prefers to do vocal therapy. She has access to this service through Louisville Voice Care and works with therapist Karen Crown.

"I initially sang it how I always did live,” said Falcon. “And it wasn't the representation, I like to sound too masculine and I was like, I just wasn't feeling it. The goal right there is like, get in that androgynous feminine territory.”

Along with working on her voice Falcon continues to promote herself on her social media as Glam-Rock Queen, (she has over 4,000 followers on Instagram) sharing photos of her new identity and her band. And wonders if her therapist’s comparison to Joan Jett is a good thing.

Most trans women singers benefit from gentle, gradual stretching of the upper pitch range. This can be done safely using a semi-occluded vocal tract technique (vocalizing through a straw, lip bubble, tongue trill, etc.) keeping within a comfortable pitch range. There should never be any strain and the speaking voice should feel normal or better afterward. Replacing the masculine-sounding chest register with lighter registration of a mixed or head voice can also feminize the voice. Slight breathiness may also be useful, depending on the repertoire.

Falcon practices vocal therapy via face time with her vocal coach Karen Crow. She is using the "Straw Method" which involves humming through a straw to create a smoother transition into speaking, according to Crow.
  • Dysphonia (difficulty speaking), such as voice breaks or tremors.
  • Edema (fluid buildup in your vocal cords).
  • Enlarged Adam’s apple.
  • Hoarseness.
  • Not enough pitch increase (voice is still too low).
  • Scarring inside your voice box or on the outside of your throat.
  • Too much pitch increase (voice is unnaturally high).
  • Vocal cord dysfunction.
  • Vocal cord lesions (abnormal growths or bumps on your vocal cords).
  • Vocal fold paralysis.

SOURCE: Mayo Clinic


Pitch: The average speaking fundamental frequency of adult cisgender males is about 107 to 120 hertz (Hz). For cisgender females, it's 189 to 224 Hz. To be perceived as female, it may be helpful for vocal frequency to stay above 165 Hz. To be perceived as male, it's helpful for vocal frequency to stay below 165 Hz.

Prosody: The melody of speech and includes loudness, pitch, and stress changes. For example, men tend to use stress or loudness for emphasis, while women often use greater pitch variability.

Vocal resonance: This term often refers to the perception of vibrations when using one's voice. The location of vocal resonance isn't fully dependent on your gender. You can have a throaty resonance, where vibrations are focused in the throat or chest, or a forward resonance, where vibrations are experienced around the lips and nose.

SOURCE: Mayo Clinic

Individuals who identify as transgender and choose to undergo transgender voice therapy and surgery are aiming to adjust their voices to align with their gender identity.

This form of care can alleviate any discomfort or distress associated with a mismatch between their gender identity and sex assigned at birth, or physical characteristics related to their sex, which is also known as Gender Dysphoria.

These bills recently introduced* by Kentucky legislature, target access to health care that can be medically-needed for transgender people. Medicaid included.

A majority of these bills put bans on gender-affirming care for transgender youth that result in penalties to those who provide it. Other bills block funding to medical centers that offer gender-affirming care or block insurance coverage of health care for transgender people.

Introduced: The bill has been written, filed, and assigned a number

Senate Bill 83
Passed into Law 29-8
Governor veto overridden, 03/29/2023

Introduced 2022
"Amend KRS 156.070 to require the Board of Education to manage interscholastic athletics to promulgate administrative regulations or bylaws requiring schools that participate in interscholastic athletics to designate all athletic teams, activities, and sports based upon the biological sex of the students eligible to participate; prohibit male students from participating in athletic teams, activities, and sports designated as "girls"; prohibit designated agencies from entertaining complaints or investigations of policies; create a new section of KRS Chapter 158 to create a cause of action against a school that violates these provisions; require that an action be brought within two years; provide that the Act may be cited as the Save Women’s Sports Act."
-Summary of Original Version of Bill 83 (Kentucky General Assembly 2022)
House Bill 30
Defeated 03/30/2023
Introduced 2023
Create new sections of KRS Chapter 158 to define terms; establish legislative findings; ensure that student privacy exists in school restrooms, locker rooms, and shower rooms; require students born male to use only those facilities designated to be used by males and students born female to use only those facilities designated to be used by females; require schools to provide the best available accommodation to students who assert that their gender is different from their biological sex; identify consequences for using facilities designated for the opposite biological sex
-Summary of Original Version of Bill 30 (Kentucky General Assembly 2023)
House Bill 120
Defeated 03/30/2023
Introduced 2023
Create new sections of KRS Chapter 311 to prohibit the provision of or referral for gender transition procedures to any child under the age of 18 years; define a violation as unprofessional conduct and acting recklessly for purposes of tort claims; permit an action on a violation to be taken by the parent or guardian of the child before the child attains the age of 18 years and by the child within 30 years of the child attaining the age of 18 years, with exceptions under which the time may be longer; prohibit tax exemption for gender transition procedures; prohibit a person or entity from aiding or abetting the performance or inducement of gender transition procedures to a child under the age of 18 years, but exempt speech protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States and exempt a parent of such child; prohibit tax exemption for gender transition procedures; establish a short title of Kentucky's Children Deserve Help Not Harm Act; EFFECTIVE January 1, 2024.
-Summary of Original Version of Bill 120 (Kentucky General Assembly 2023)
Senate Bill 150
Passed into Law
Governor veto overridden, 03/29/2023
Introduced 2023
"Create a new section of KRS Chapter 158 to establish definitions; require specific parental notifications from public schools; require school districts to adopt specific procedures related to parental rights; limit the authority of the Kentucky Board of Education and Kentucky Department of Education in relation to parental rights and a student's use of pronouns; prohibit district or school policies with the intent of keeping student information confidential for parents; prohibit a school district from requiring school personnel or pupils to use pronouns for students that do not conform to that student's biological sex; provide school districts and district personnel authority to seek emergency medical services for a student; provide conditions for student confidentiality; amend KRS 158.1415 to establish requirements for any public school's course, curriculum, or program on the subject of human sexuality."
-Summary of Original Version of Bill 150 (Kentucky General Assembly 2023)
House Bill 470
Dead, 03/30/2023
Introduced 2023
States that the provision of gender transition services to a person under the age of 18 years by a health care provider or mental health care provider is unethical and unprofessional conduct; requires an investigation of any report of the provision of gender transition services to a person under the age of 18 years; require revocation of the provider's license if confirmed and termination of public funding for a public employee; require that providers be jointly and severally liable for all damages and costs sustained for providing gender transition services or aiding and assisting a person under the age of 18 years to consider or to obtain gender transition services; provide defense to providers refusing to provide services; make failure to report provision of gender transition services a crime
-Summary of Original Version of Bill 470 (Kentucky General Assembly 2023)
Georgia Mallett
WKU Student and Photographer