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A smart, funny, daring film about the "gay voice." With Margaret Cho, Tim Gunn, Don Lemon, Dan Savage, David Sedaris and George Takei. Read more

New York, NY Documentary
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This project was successfully funded on May 30, 2014.

A smart, funny, daring film about the "gay voice." With Margaret Cho, Tim Gunn, Don Lemon, Dan Savage, David Sedaris and George Takei.

New York, NY Documentary
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About this project

Confession: I’ve always been self-conscious about "sounding gay." 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 = bad, so sounding gay = bad. So, I decided to make DO I SOUND GAY? 

In the tradition of funny-but-serious first-person movies like Supersize MeRoger and Me and Good Hair, you’ll follow me as I encounter 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 and touching, funny stories about the “gay voice.” You'll also hear intimate confessions and hilarious anecdotes from LGBT icons - Margaret Cho, Tim Gunn, Don Lemon, Dan Savage, David Sedaris and George Takei - as they open up about the "gay voice." Thanks to all the incredible people I met, I was able to embrace my authentic voice. 

Now I'd like you to join our campaign and share your voice!

Over the course of three years, I did 165 interviews in four countries! Sometimes it was amazing, sometimes it was frustrating, but I loved every minute of it because…

    Reason No. 1:

    Some gay men are self-conscious about “sounding gay,” even famous ones like David Sedaris. Let’s start hashing out this whole “sounding gay” thing, so we can all be OURSELVES in this small but crucial way.

    Reason No. 2:

    “Sounding gay” is still a trigger for mockery, bullying and violence. LGBT kids are far more likely to commit suicide or drop out of school because they feel unsafe. Zach King, one of our brave young subjects, was viciously assaulted at school.

    Reason No. 3:

    Hard to believe, but nobody has comprehensively explored the phenomenon of “sounding gay.” Voice and sexuality – two fundamental features of human existence, and yet most people don’t have a clue how they’re related. Instead, we have stupid stereotypes. Let’s toss ‘em in the trash. Knowledge is power.

    Reason No. 4:

    A lot of people think it’s okay to be gay as long as you don’t act - or sound - that way. The daily pressure to cover, hide or “pass” affects many minorities. Let’s relieve the pressure.

    Reason No. 5:

    Our title isn't just a title. Combined with our rainbow tongue logo, it's an empowerment icon, a sneaky, fun, viral way to say it’s OK to sound – and be – gay. When the movie gets made, you'll see rainbow tongues everywhere, asking, “Do I Sound Gay?” 

    And that's just the first 5 reasons! Your contributions will enable us to finish DO I SOUND GAY?, premiere at the best possible festival and find distribution. Here are the post-production necessities that this campaign will help us pay for:

    • Editing (Where the story gets structured and polished)
    • Sound design and mix (DO I SOUND GAY? has gotta sound good!)
    • Music supervision, licensing and original scoring
    • Animation
    • Title design
    • Color correction
    • Archival photographs and film footage (can you say Liberace?)
    • Poster design
    • Website design and marketing
    • Film festival campaigns (This is how we find distribution!)

    Your choice: Gray Tee without Text or White Tee with Text!
    Your choice: Gray Tee without Text or White Tee with Text!
      Enjoy dinner with DISG Director David Thorpe (center) and his bestie/DISG cast member/master chef Alberto (left) pictured here at this beautiful apartment.
      Enjoy dinner with DISG Director David Thorpe (center) and his bestie/DISG cast member/master chef Alberto (left) pictured here at this beautiful apartment.

       SOME AMAZING COVERAGE OF DO I SOUND GAY?:

      Editor: Maeve O'Boyle 
      Sound designer: David Briggs 
      Composer: John Turner 
      Graphic designer and animator: Conor O'Boyle 
      Producers: Howard Gertler & Jenny Raskin
      Executive Producer: Dan Cogan

      We're proud alumni of the IFP Doc Labs!
      We're proud alumni of the IFP Doc Labs!

      Sponsored by:

       Supported by:

Risks and challenges

As a first-time feature filmmaker, I've faced daily challenges for the past three years. I now know they come unexpectedly and in an array of shapes and sizes (Literally. One time our van broke down and I carried a 12-foot metal "speed rail" to a shoot on the subway. Only hit one person!) I know I can't predict the challenges I'll face with DO I SOUND GAY?, but here are a couple guesses:

Risk & Challenge No. 1: It's not every day that somebody tries to make a funny-serious personal documentary about "sounding gay." The response so far has been phenomenal but finishing the film and finding distribution is not a lock. We thank you for sticking with us if the road gets rocky and we have to adjust or postpone a reward, especially when it comes to getting out your DVDs and downloads. We know some of our rewards are multifaceted and funkadelic. To paraphrase Tim Gunn, we'll *always* do our best to make it work.

Risk & Challenge No. 2: We're not just trying to remove the stigma from a deeply embedded old, old stereotype. We're trying to reappropriate that stereotype. ("Do I sound gay? Hell, yeah!"). That takes some sass and some smarts. Shame is *really hard* to talk about. We may not always get our empowerment message exactly right. We thank you for trusting what you see so far, joining our family, and keeping the lines of communication open as we go out on our limb to shout "DO I SOUND GAY?"

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

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    183 backers

    Thanks for supporting DO I SOUND GAY?! You’ll receive "Backers Only" updates, including video Thank Yous from surprise guests!

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    127 backers

    You’ll receive a hearty “Thank you!” on our Facebook page and doisoundgay.com. You’ll also receive "Backers Only" updates, including video Thank Yous from surprise guests!

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    54 backers

    You'll receive a personal thank you note from DO I SOUND GAY? director David Thorpe + A shout-out on our Facebook page and doisoundgay.com + "Backers Only" updates, including video Thank Yous from surprise guests!

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    630 backers

    GO DIGITAL! You'll receive a download of DO I SOUND GAY? when it's released digitally + A shout-out on our Facebook page and doisoundgay.com + "Backers Only" updates, including video Thank Yous from surprise guests!

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    114 backers

    GO DIGITAL OUTSIDE THE US! You'll receive a download of DO I SOUND GAY? when it's released digitally in your territory + A shout-out on our Facebook page and doisoundgay.com + "Backers Only" updates, including video Thank Yous from surprise special guests!

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    277 backers

    GO DVD! You’ll receive a DVD of DO I SOUND GAY? when it's released on home video + A shout-out on our Facebook page and doisoundgay.com + "Backers Only" updates, including video Thank Yous from surprise guests!

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    46 backers

    YOU’VE GOT VOICEMAIL! Receive a hilarious pre-recorded voicemail message from master impressionist and DISG cast member Michael Airington in the voice of one of these dearly departed gay-sounding icons: Paul Lynde, Liberace or Charles Nelson Reilly + everything from the $25 pledge level.

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    75 backers

    DRESS UP + GO DIGITAL! Everything from the $25 pledge level PLUS you’ll receive a groovy DO I SOUND GAY? T-shirt which we'll send out this summer! Take a look at the designs below – you have your choice!

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    64 backers

    DRESS UP + GO DVD! Everything from the $30 pledge level PLUS you’ll receive our groovy DO I SOUND GAY? T-shirt which we'll send out this summer! Check out the options below - you have your choice!

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    68 backers

    GET SIGNED!: You’ll receive a DO I SOUND GAY? DVD and T-shirt (see below!), both signed by director David Thorpe and Oscar-nominated DO I SOUND GAY? producer Howard Gertler + a Thank You! on Facebook and doisoundgay.com + "Backers Only" updates, including video Thank Yous from surprise guests!

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    22 backers Limited (8 left of 30)

    YOU’VE GOT VOICEMAIL PART II! Receive a *customized* outgoing voicemail message by master impressionist and DISG cast member Michael Airington in the voice of any one of these dearly departed gay-sounding stars: Paul Lynde, Liberace, Charles Nelson Reilly + everything from the $25 pledge level.

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    3 backers All gone!

    Receive a signed copy of CNN news anchor Don Lemon's memoir, Transparent. He'll make the inscription out to YOU! + everything at the $60 pledge level.

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    4 backers Limited (16 left of 20)

    BE SPONTANEOUS! You’ll receive an hour-long improv masterclass with DISG cast member and comic genius Jeff Hiller (30 Rock, Ugly Betty, Gayby, Upright Citizens Brigade) in LA + everything at the $25 level.

    NOTE: After our Kickstarter campaign is over, we’ll tell you the July 2014 dates when the improv class will take place. There will be 2 dates/times available. You will have to choose one. Travel and accommodation not included. Your digital download of DISG will be delivered separately approx June 2015.

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    3 backers All gone!

    SPEAK WITH CONFIDENCE! Receive a 30 minute one-on-one Skype session with legendary vocal coach Bob Corff (featured in the film), who helped DO I SOUND GAY? director David Thorpe find his authentic voice! + everything at the $60 pledge level.

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    2 backers All gone!

    SAVAGE LOVE: Receive a copy of the book American Savage inscribed “Do I sound gay? All the time! Love, Dan” by DAN SAVAGE HIMSELF! And he’ll make the inscription out to YOU! + everything at the $60 pledge level.

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    3 backers All gone!

    MAKE IT WORK!: Receive a copy of Tim Gunn's Fashion Bible signed by TIM GUNN with a personal message! + everything at the $60 pledge level.

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    9 backers Limited (6 left of 15)

    SAVAGE LOVE PART ll Receive a copy of the book American Savage inscribed “Do I sound gay? All the time! Love, Dan” by DAN SAVAGE HIMSELF! And he’ll make the inscription out to YOU! + everything at the $60 pledge level.

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    8 backers All gone!

    DINNER PARTY! Join DO I SOUND GAY? director David Thorpe and a DISG co-star Alberto (who happens to be a masterchef!) for a screening at Alberto’s beautiful loft in Brooklyn, NY and a scrumptious home-cooked meal! + everything from the $25 pledge level.

    NOTE: After our kickstarter campaign is over, we’ll let you know when the dinner party will be (either a Thursday or Friday night) within the “delivery month” listed below. Travel not included. Your digital download of DISG will be delivered separately approx June 2015.

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    0 backers Limited (10 left of 10)

    ASK DAVID ANYTHING! You'll receive a 30 minute one-on-one Skype chat with DO I SOUND GAY? director David Thorpe, who will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about “sounding gay” (he’s an expert!) + everything at the $25 pledge level. Your digital download of DISG will be delivered separately approx June 2015.

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    10 backers

    TAKE A BOW! You gave us so much support that we want to thank you in our *official credits* for the film, immortalized forever + everything at the $60 pledge level.

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    2 backers Limited (8 left of 10)

    GO HOLLYWOOD! Consult an Oscar-nominated producer on how to get your story, treatment, memoirs, documentary or script to the big screen! You'll receive a 45 minute one-on-one script or treatment consultation on Skype with DO I SOUND GAY?’s Academy Award-nominated producer Howard Gertler (How To Survive a Plague, Shortbus) + A thank you in our *official credits* + everything at the $60 pledge level. Your digital download of DISG will be delivered separately approx June 2015.

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    2 backers Limited (1 left of 3)

    DIRECTOR Q&A IN YOUR LIVING ROOM! You’ll screen DO I SOUND GAY? (after it’s commercially available) in your living room followed by a 30-minute skype Q&A with director David Thorpe. You can have up to 25 people at this screening (fill your living room!) + A thank you in our *official credits* + everything at the $25 pledge level.

    NOTE: You can screen the film on DVD OR via digital download *after* it's commercially available in those formats. If you select digital, there is no shipping involved with this pledge level.

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    4 backers Limited (6 left of 10)

    WALK THE RED CARPET! You’ll receive TWO TICKETS to a MAJOR SCREENING (in NY, LA or the Bay Area) plus an invitation to any screening-related parties! (travel and accommodation not included) + A thank you in our *official credits* + everything at the $60 pledge level.

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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    SAVAGE TRUE LOVE: You'll receive YOUR OWN 15 minute ONE-ON-ONE Skype sex/love advice session with DISG cast member Dan Savage + a signed copy of American Savage + A thank you in our *official credits* + everything at the $60 pledge level. Your digital download of DISG will be delivered separately approx June 2015.

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    3 backers Limited (3 left of 6)

    ASSOCIATE PRODUCE!: You’ll get an associate producer credit in DO I SOUND GAY? and on IMDB + you’ll receive TWO TICKETS to a MAJOR FESTIVAL SCREENING (in NY, LA or the Bay Area) + invitation to any screening related parties (travel and accommodation not included) + a 30-minute one-on-one Skype chat with DO I SOUND GAY? director David Thorpe + Everything from the $85 pledge level, including signed DVD, T-shirt, Backers Only updates, including exclusive DISG outtakes and video Thank Yous from surprise guests!

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Funding period

- (30 days)