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 Me, Roger 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…
- 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
- 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!)
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:
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
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