Filmmaker David Thorpe (l) with Tim Gunn (photos source)
Hard to believe, but no one’s ever made a documentary film to examine the stereotype of the “gay voice” and the stigma surrounding it. Director David Thorpe has set out to rectify that with Do I Sound Gay, a groundbreaking documentary that features Tim Gunn, Dan Savage, David Sedaris, George Takei and Margaret Cho sharing their thoughts on the stigma of “sounding gay.” Determined to overcome his anxiety about his own voice, gay director Thorpe embarked on a hilarious, poignant, taboo-shattering journey of self-acceptance. After three years in production, Do I Sound Gay? has just launched its 30-day campaign to raise finishing funds on the crowd-sourcing platform Kickstarter. The film interweaves Thorpe’s personal story with a smart, funny and provocative cultural analysis of the “gay voice.” Looking for answers, he turns to friends, family, historians, linguists, voice coaches, total strangers and a handful of LGBT icons, who speak frankly about their own experiences. Project Runway host Tim Gunn confesses to the “rude awakening” that he sounded gay when he began hosting the show. In his first documentary film appearance, David Sedaris delivers plenty of his incomparable zingers (“I don’t think I sound like a woman. I think I sound like a very small man”) but also lets his guard down, admitting, “Sometimes somebody will say, I didn’t know you were gay. Why does that make me feel good? I thought I was beyond that. What’s the problem if somebody assumes that I’m gay when I open my mouth?” Do I Sound Gay? also examines the role the “gay voice” plays in homophobic bullying, harassment and violence. As ItGetsBetter.org founder Dan Savage says in the film,“Many adolescents are right to worry about how they sound because it draws violence.” This project caught our eye because it has some impressive talent associated with it, both on screen and behind the camera. Producer Howard Gertler was previously nominated for his work on How to Survive a Plague. The Kickstarter campaign to finance post-production on this project offers rewards like customized outgoing voicemail messages from a master impressionist in the voice ofPaul Lynde, Liberace or Truman Capote and a script or treatment consultation with producer Gertler. One backer will get a 15-minute sex and love advice Skype session with columnist Dan Savage. The campaign runs through Thursday, May 29. To find out more visit the Kickstarter page and like Do I Sound Gay? on Facebook.