BOSTON — Lorelei Erisis taps the screen of a borrowed iPhone. The key of A, with kazoo-like resonance, fills her living room in Ayer, Mass.
Erisis taps another button labeled “start,” takes a deep breath, and sings the word “he,” trying to match the tone.
A number, 75 percent, pops onto the screen.
“My pitch was too low,” Erisis says. “Oh well. Let me try again.”
Erisis, a transgender woman, is trying out Eva, a mobile phone app that may be the first of its kind. Transgender men and women who want to raise or lower the pitch of their voice can go through a series of breathing and pitch exercises designed to help with what can be the most difficult characteristic to change — their voice.
“What I often hear is, ‘I pass as a woman until I open my mouth,’ ” says Kathe Perez, a speech language pathologist who designed the Eva app.
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