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?”