“Do I sound gay? No, seriously, do I sound gay?” This is not a quote from the movie but something that I have said once or twice in my life after coming out. I heard of this documentary last year. Not many opportunities to go to festivals to check movies like these but found out it was on Netflix and wanted to watch it right away.
David Thorpe, brings this question to light for millions of people to see and start the conversation. The subject: One of the MANY stereotypes gay men have to endure that apparently define us as a person and sexual preference. Our voice. Can our voice determine if someone is straight or gay? He decides to make a film interviewing celebrities, friends, family, and randoms on the street on the subject. He also decides to research and take speech classes to “man up” his voice and sound more “straight”.
According to David, this elephant in the room stands out in front of him at the beginning of a break up from a LTR. Being single again and having to put yourself out there and date, he questions, who would date someone that sounds “gay”. Some define this as effeminate, unattractive, simply not normal, and for the most part not accepted from both the straight and gay community.
I’ll be honest, I am not a big fan of documentaries for entertainment value. Not to say they are not good but there were never my go to by choice. I have watched a few in the past and never regretted the decision. Some included Bully, Blackfish, Bowling for Columbine and Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy. I decided to watch this one of because because the subject matter hits way too close to home.
It was interesting to hear from people gay or straight about the so called “gay voice” We hear from celebrities from Margaret Cho, Tim Gunn, George Takei, Dan Savage and many more. We get the opinions from guys who have this “gay voice” gay and also straight. We also learn a little history on how this voice can be developed through our environment, who we grow up with, who we watch on TV, or even down to just making sure to stand proud about being gay and doing it on purpose. Also how this is used in the media. There was a segment that talked about how it has been used in Disney films, specifically with the villains of certain movies. One of my favorite parts of the film.
By the end of the movie I didn’t really feel that I took away much from what I watched. My opinion on the subject is pretty balanced. At the end of the day I never had a problem with anyone who had this speech of sounding more female than male. I will say that this is a great subject to film about as it does give the watcher an chance to have a conversation and bring up thoughts you probably didn’t know you had. I was watching this with some friends and while watching it we brought up in discussion that someone had “gay face” which is also a stereotype but well aware of its existence. So I do applaud for its content but this movie didn’t really provide much for me and left me with this taste in my mouth that the director is just venting about being single and alone after his break up. I hope today that he has found love again. There were some scenes where he would bring up the fact that his friends and more around him were paired up which reminded him how single he is. I found him to be a nice guy honestly. I would hang out with him.
*Steps on soapbox
I do recommend this to be seen by both gay and straight, men and women. Everyone is different and I think a documentary like this can be a positive influence on someone and maybe teach someone a thing or two on the subject. I hope that one day stereotypes like these disappear and not define us as a person and while there are many types of gay men out there. This shouldn’t be one of those characteristics that make us less worthy than others. You should also accept yourself for the way you are and be proud that you are unique individual.
I always follow this motto that I even had printed on a shirt for Spirit day:
*Steps off soapbox
+1/2 Provided some entertainment to keep my attention through the whole movie. A little boring in the process.
+1 Acting. As a documentary, I will give a score for the people he had in the film.
+1/2 Writing. I love the topic and brought up discussion but didn’t really learn too much from it.
+1/2 recommendation. Not the best documentary on this topic but it is worth the watch for the LGBTQ community and others to get a glimpse into our world.
+0 only needs to be seen once.
Total = 2 1/2 points out of 5