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New documentary examines the stereotype of ‘sounding gay’

by AirTalk®

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Same-sex marriage supporters wear equality shirts while celebrating the U.S Supreme Court ruling regarding same-sex marriage on June 26, 2015 in San Francisco, California. The high court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry in all 50 states. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The documentary is appropriately titled, “Do I Sound Gay?,” where filmmaker David Thorpe explores the cultural and sociological meanings behind the linguistic phenomenon known as the “gay voice.”

The film features conversations between Thorpe and a range of people, including gay cultural icons George Takei and Dan Savage, to linguists, to a speech pathologist to total strangers. Some say the gay voice is an affectation, some say it’s an expression of one’s sexual identity, some say they have no idea why the gay voice exists.

Is there a fundamental “gay voice?” What are the features of a gay voice?


Benjamin Munson, Professor in the Department of Speech, Language, Hearing Sciences at the University of Minnesota. One of his research foci is on gay speech styles, and he is featured in the documentary, “Do I Sound Gay?”

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