This short documentary explores the reasons that some men sound stereotypically gay, whether they are or not.
For the last few years, I’ve wondered why some men “sound gay.” I began asking people for their thoughts on the subject, and received a surprising range of answers. Some people said the gay voice was a put-on, like a man in a conspicuously sparkly dress. Others thought gay men sounded gay just to let other gay men know they were. Some thought that every man who sounds gay is gay, even if he claims otherwise. A lot of people said, “Wow, I don’t know.”
I decided to make a film about the stereotype of the “gay voice” and my own anxieties around “sounding gay” (I am gay, and sometimes worry that my voice gives me away before I’m ready to come out). I interviewed strangers on the street for the film because, as I discovered, the origin of men’s gay-sounding voices intrigues people of all backgrounds, regardless of their sexual orientation. (I subsequently became intrigued by the intrigue.) Nobody knows for sure why some people sound stereotypically gay and others don’t. This Op-Doc video explores one of the prominent theories.