Some stereotypes have been around so long it is sometimes hard to distinguish where they came from, or if they can be true. Is there such a thing as a ‘gay voice’? And why do gay men have it? This documentary takes a look at the scientific and social reasons behind such questions.
The premise of the documentary is incredibly interesting, and relatable to a large amount of the gay audience, it has long been and acknowledged and accepted without reason but journalist seeks to learn more about the phenomena.
Following a breakup journalist David Thorpe goes on a comic, yet deeply personal journey of self-discovery to confront his anxieties and insecurities about “sounding gay”. Enlisting vocal coaches, linguists, friends, family, total strangers, and out celebrities, he delves in to the topic of voices.
The film highlighted some thought-provoking ideas as to how gay men come about gaining their distinct voice. Many different theorists came up with takes on the pivotal question from societal cues to scientific reasoning.
He questioned a wide net of people on the topic from casual conversations with friends, interviews with gay celebrities and strangers on the street, each of whom had their own take on the discussion. The doc often differentiating between people who felt insecure about their tone, and others who took pride it their voice.
For the majority of the viewing there seemed to be some clear semblance of research into the subject but vastly much of the footage seemed to be more of a casual discussion surrounding the idea than definitive answers, failing to truly nail the point it set out to discover.
Cutting back and forth from the larger question at hand to Thorpe’s personal story and mission to alter his voice, the movie suffered quite jarring cuts interrupting the flow of the piece.
The documentary also deviated to multiple tangents as it presented a number of issues that have occurred through pop culture and in the news as a result of the stereotypical gay voice: often used to mock the gay community, and leading to bullying in childhood.
Despite its faults, the doc is an interesting look into a section of gay culture each person can relate to with a breezy and light-hearted tone. It is supporting to see the large number of people gay and straight who struggle with their voices and the internalised homophobia it breeds.
Do I Sound Gay? opened in one theatre on July 10, 2015 and earned $10,461 in its first weekend. A smash hit the film expanded to 18 theaters and grossed $108,620 domestically, to positive reviews.
Our Verdict Is: While it was not the groundbreaking documentary we were hoping for, it was still a must watch for any gay person who has ever struggled with their own voices, or judged others.