Do I Sound Gay? (David Thorpe, 2014)

do-i-sound-gay

Director David Thorpe’s genial, absorbing documentary Do I Sound Gay? delves into the personal and political implications of the stereotypical “gay voice,” using the director’s worries about his own voice as a launch pad into questions of shame, desire, masculinity, and self-acceptance. In it, Thorpe strikes a fine balance between telling a personal story and exploring the topic analytically as he lets us eavesdrop on funny, thoughtful conversations between him and his friends, turns the lens on his efforts to change his own voice, interviews academics and speech therapists, solicits the insights of gay celebrities, and presents some revealing (and occasionally dismaying) clips from television and cinema from the last hundred years. While not quite as probing as I would have liked it to be, the film nevertheless is a smart and appealing look at an under-examined facet of gay life and culture.

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