Do I Sound Gay?

Do I Sound Gay?

DVD - 2015
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After a break-up with his boyfriend, journalist David Thorpe embarks on a hilarious and touching journey of self-discovery, confronting his anxiety about "sounding gay". Enlisting acting coaches, linguists, friends, family, total strangers, and celebrities, he quickly learns that many people, both gay and straight, often wish for a different voice. What starts as a personal journey becomes a chance to unpack layers of cultural baggage concerning sexuality, identity, and self-esteem.
Publisher: New York, NY :, IFC Films,, [2015]
Branch Call Number: DVD 306.766 DO
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (77 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.
4 3/4 in.,rda
digital,optical,rda
video file,DVD video,rda
widescreen
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ClarkHarveyRoth
Apr 11, 2019

It was a Saturday nite in Pioneer Square when they were still doing drum & bass downstairs at Temple Billiards, & rolling up toward Fourth Avenue I suddenly found myself in a brief, heady conversation with a stranger from the Sudan. We talked easily, all lit up for a moment in the excitement of the nightlife & the circling crowds, & he spontaneously recited some Arabic poetry to me. Not understanding the content, I just watched the effort of the muscles in his face, how they exaggerated themselves to form the words. It was hauntingly beautiful, & would serve as a touchstone many times in my own aspirations to learn foreign languages & speak them well. I bring this up because if the gay accent such as it is represents a person's true nature, & the only spectrum worth mentioning is the one between self-loathing & self-acceptance, then effectively learning other modalities of speech should be all but physically impossible. This film, which I enjoyed very much & which raised some very interesting points about social patterning & the urge to belong linguistically, ultimately whitewashed its own sophistication for the sake of a feelgood ending, & not even to its discredit exactly, but I feel like there's a lot more territory here that went unexplored. There is also no denying that the body of air-quote gay mannerisms, when used so often as a vehicle for cattiness & condescension & self-indulgent opinions writ large, can sometimes have a kind of Skinner bell effect on its listeners, even when you wish it didn't. CR

t
ThisBoy
Jan 26, 2019

Boring is the only word that comes to mind.

p
poetdeluxe
Jun 13, 2018

"Do I Sound Gay?" is a funny, charming, and insightful little documentary. A freshly single gay man examines his discomfort with his voice through speech coach sessions, over meals with best friends, visits with family members and school chums, and various pop culture media snippets. Both lightly entertaining and illuminating.

m
ms_mustard
Oct 05, 2016

can I change my voice?

should I change my voice?

learning to be yourself

a
AmyEighttrack
Sep 05, 2016

I was pleasantly surprised! It sat on my shelf for a while until I got around to it. Glad I did - it wasn't what I thought it was going to be. It's surprising how taboo this subject seems to have been. It is not a political-correctness polemic. This film - the director/writer/producer/actor's personal journey - is fascinating. It explores some of the mechanics of voice; the cultural meanings; and the misogyny behind this question. Ultimately, very much an affirmation for being yourself; for being queer, even.

i
ilovewhippets
May 19, 2016

I always wanted to know! A fascinating, interesting, frank look at the subject and the people! A personal journey! Well-done documentary! I recommend it!

w
WendyLC
May 15, 2016

Not a perfect film (it can't decide if it's personal narrative, linguistic analysis or what), but the reaction he points to is something we all know ("that guy sure sounds gay" or "how could my grandmother have not known Liberace was gay--I mean, just LISTEN to the guy!"), and this is the only examination of it I've ever seen. Where does gay voice come from? (linguists weigh in) How do gay men feel about it? (not entirely comfortable, this film tells us)

Great celeb interviews. For PFLAG-y types like me, both an interesting and fun film.

g
gingerbeer
Jan 18, 2016

This funny, frank and entertaining film looks at one of the intriguing and lesser discussed aspects of homophobia, the gay "accent". Whether there is one or not and whether it is a thing to avoid or embrace form the central questions of this thought-provoking film.

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rem85
Jan 03, 2016

rem85 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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