Have you ever worried about sounding gay? Is there even such a thing as a gay accent? And if so, should it be discouraged?
These are the questions film director David Thorpe seeks to consider in his new documentary, “Do I Sound Gay?” The film draws upon interviews with LGBT celebrities, linguists, historians, voice coaches and others to discuss the idea of a gay accent, and if discouraging it is a form of internalized homophobia.
The film is in the early days of a month-long Kickstarter campaign to fund the post-production needs for the documentary, such as editing, sound design, marketing and film festival campaigning.
“I’ve always been self-conscious about ‘sounding gay,'” Thorpe says on his Kickstarter page. “It’s one of the main things that ‘gives me away’ as gay. Three years ago, I decided I’d had enough. I knew that my anxiety came from my internalized homophobia telling me: Gay equals bad, so sounding gay equals bad. So, I decided to make ‘Do I Sound Gay?'”
Thorpe conducted over 165 interviews in four countries across three years. He interviewed well-known LGBT icons such as David Sedaris, George Takei, Margaret Cho, Tim Gunn and Dan Savage.
“I’m embarrassed to say this … but sometimes somebody will say, ‘I didn’t know you were gay.’ It’s like, ‘Why does that make me feel good?'” says Sedaris in the fundraisers introductive video. “I hate myself for thinking that. It’s very disturbing. I thought I was beyond that. What’s the problem if somebody assumes that I’m gay when I open my mouth?”
Thorpe hopes to raise $115,000 for the film through Kickstarter and in just a few days has already raised over $20,000. Backers of the project will receive a variety of perks, including access to the documentary, t-shirts, signed copies of Dan Savage and Tim Gunn’s books and festival screening tickets.