Trans Formations of Male Falsetto

Shi-Yan Chao

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


With reference to the biographical documentary Doh! Oh Dear, A Female Tear (by professional falsettist Stephen Chen) and the author's personal testimony (as an untrained falsetto practitioner), this essay approaches the subject of male falsetto from three perspectives: the historical, the individual, and the geopolitical. It suggests that the male falsetto in question can be understood as a multilayered “trans” figuration that comes into being in and through historical discourses, individual embodiments, and geopolitical articulations. Given the limited scholarship on falsetto, this piece means to draw attention to and solicit further research on the much-neglected phenomenon of falsetto in queer and transgender studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)456–463
Number of pages8
JournalTransgender Studies Quarterly
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018

User-Defined Keywords

  • male falsetto
  • countertenor
  • transgender
  • Stephen Chen
  • Singapore


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