Fund This: A New Documentary Explores the "Gay Voice"
By Jesse Steinbach
Director David Thorpe was determined to explore (and overcome) the stigma surrounding the "gay voice." Beginning with his own anxiety about how he sounded when talk aloud, Thorpe embarked on a taboo-shattering and enlightening journey of self-acceptance in the documentary Do I Sound Gay?
The film parallels Thorpe's personal story with current cultural analysis of the "gay voice" while also spotlighting experiences of LGBT icons, such as Project Runway's Tim Gunn, Dan Savage, David Sedaris, George Takei, and Margaret Cho.
"Sometimes somebody will say, I didn't know you were gay," Sedaris says. "Why does that make me feel good? I thought I was beyond that. What's the problem if somebody assumes that I'm gay when I open my mouth?"
In addition to telling personal stories about voice, the documentary also examines the roles speech plays in homophobic bullying, harassment, and violence.
"Many adolescents are right to worry about how they sound because it draws violence," Savage says.
However, in order for anyone to see the film, Thorpe needs the help of fans willing to donate money through Kickstarter. Thorpe and his team are hoping to raise $115,000 in order to finish the film and showcase it at film festivals. Rewards for pledges include voice lessons, signed copies of the DVD and an invitation to a fabulous dinner party.
If successful, this would be the first film to unpack the "gay voice" stereotype.