May Filmanthropy: Do I Sound Gay?

 At Picture Motion we want to not just build campaigns for impact films, but also support their creation. Each month, one of our team members picks a new project to support and highlights why YOU should check them out too. We call it Filmanthropy!

Do I Sound Gay? is a feature length documentary that explores that very question – what makes a voice sound gay, and how does that affect gay community and culture. In the tradition of funny-but-serious first-person movies like Supersize Me, Roger and Me, and Good Hair, the film follows director David Thorpe as he encounters a colorful cast of linguists, historians, voice coaches, speech therapists, friends, family, and total strangers on the street, gay and non-gay, who share their wisdom about the “gay voice.” With intimate confessions and hilarious anecdotes from LGBT icons like Margaret Cho, Tim Gunn, Don Lemon, Dan Savage, David Sedaris and George Takei, the film raises numerous questions about the “gay voice.”

Why We Picked this Project:

Do I Sound Gay? brings humor and a keen eye to a subject that is both deeply personal for the filmmaker and his subjects, and relevant to LGBT people across America. While the trailer makes it clear this film will not shy away from the negative ramifications of “sounding gay,” it will also bring humor to the discussion, tongue-firmly-wedged-in-cheek.

The question of what it means to sound gay is an intriguing topic for a long-form documentary, as this aspect of gay identity deserves an in-depth conversation. We’re looking forward to learning about how the voice plays a role in the LGBT community.

The slick aesthetic and celebrity presence shown in this trailer is impressive for a first time filmmaker as well!

Social Action!

Do I Sound Gay? has the potential to create greater awareness around this issue and further engage with LGBT advocates nationwide. The personal stories in this trailer speak to the pervasiveness of misconceptions around the gay voice. Without seeing the film, we imagine the film could raise important discussions around the way gender and sexuality is discussed in America. To quote the filmmaker, Do I Sound Gay? has the ability to “remove the stigma from a deeply embedded old, old stereotype. We’re trying to re-appropriate that stereotype.”

The humorous take on this deeply personal social issue makes this film a potential catalyst for inspiring discussions among high school and college students. We imagine that Do I Sound Gay? could be speak directly to educators, advocates, and their networks across the country, and can provide them a critical tool to further their work.

Do I Sound Gay? exceeded its Kickstarter goal of $115,000 by over $5,000! Continue to support the film and learn more on Facebook and Twitter.


Rebecca Stern (@beckys11) is a Campaign Operations Manager and supports the development and implementation of film impact campaigns at Picture Motion. For the last two years she served as Campaign Coordinator for the film Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare, working directly with the award-winning filmmaking team, Matthew Heineman and Susan Froemke. In this role, Rebecca organized large-scale national screening events, developed key campaign partnerships, managed social media and coordinated internal operations for the campaign. Prior to Escape Fire, Rebecca oversaw on-campus marketing for the films Sing Your Song, The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom, and Living for 32 at UC Berkeley. She has also consulted for various musicians and filmmakers on how to heighten their social media presence and coordinate effective engagement strategies.