We've all been there. We have all mocked somebody for sounding gay. For the most part, it has very little to do with their sexuality but the obvious question is the one I've never heard discussed until now - do gay people sound different? And is that because they're gay?
David Thorpe was a man sick of the sound of his own voice when a midlife crisis of sorts (in his forties he found himself very single) propelled him to actually do something about it. And so Do I Sound Gay? was born. It's a subject that raises a whole raft of intriguing questions. Why do so many gay people dislike how they sound? Why are some gay men not only not attracted to men with a 'gay voice' but actively victimise them? Why do some straight men sound 'gay'? And of course, who gives a shit what you sound like, really?
Easily one of the funniest movies I've seen for a while, Thorpe is a wonderfully engaging subject - this is essentially his journey to rediscover his confidence. And I really do mean funny. On more than one occasion I very nearly fell out of my seat I was laughing so hard. Thorpe's subjects are all very willing to discuss how they think they sound and how they think that translates in real life. And he's gathered a decent range of people too - Tim Gunn, David Sedaris and yeah, back again George Takei all offer fascinating insights from a social and career point of view. Thorpe also visits a couple of speech therapists in an attempt to remove the 'gay' from his voice and we get some proper science from people who have studied the subject.
Do I Sound Gay is a gut-bustingly funny, hugely insightful and thoroughly entertaining therapy session from Thorpe. Every contributor comes across as brutally honest (David Sedaris is particularly funny) and on his journey, Thorpe manages to unearth a great deal about people's perceptions of gay and some genuine insights into where people get their intonation and speech rhythms. It's not many documentaries that end on a scientist finessing an achingly funny gag about a blowjob either. Superb.