Documentarian David Thorpe digs surprisingly deep, asking questions about stereotypes and self-loathing that are seldom asked. The filmmaker David Thorpe has a warm, woolly speaking voice with a bit of a lilt. He sounds gay. Or is there?
I am a gay man, and that means I do not like the sound of my own voice. Also, all children sound gay. I grew up a cerebral, effeminate child in a farm town in Northern California.
After three years of research, linguistics professors Henry Rogers and Ron Smyth may be on the verge of answering that question. They want to know how men acquire this manner of speaking, and why — especially when society so often stigmatizes those with gay-sounding voices. Rogers and Smyth are also exploring the stereotypes that gay men sound effeminate and are recognized by the way they speak. They asked people to listen to recordings of 25 men, 17 of them gay.