Archive for the ‘Gay voice’ Category

He opened his mouth

October 5, 2017

… and a/his purse dropped / fell out.

Meaning: and he revealed himself to be a flaming faggot. Said by someone (usually a gay man) who is distancing himself from flaming faggots and (usually) expressing disdain for them. A variant of the formula in an ecard:

    (#1)

(Eventually there will be a bit of sex talk, from Dan Savage, but otherwise this material shouldn’t be problematic.)

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On the fierce femininity of drag queens

June 12, 2017

Linguistics news from Stanford: the public portion of a PhD oral exam, next Monday, 6/19/17, 3-4:15: Jeremy Calder, Handsome Women: A semiotics of non-normative gender in SoMa, San Francisco.

Drag queens in the 2015 SoMa “Oasis Follies” drag night

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More on sounding gay

July 10, 2015

Back on June 11th, I posted about the documentary “Do I Sound Gay?”, as I was about to be interviewed by a journalist about it. I had a number of critical things to say about parts of the film, though I didn’t post them here. Now NPR’s Terry Gross has interviewed two of the principals in it, the filmmaker David Thorpe and a speech pathologist, Susan Sankin, with whom Thorpe worked in an attempt to sound “less gay”.

Enraged by this interview, Sameer ud Dowla Khan (a phonetician at Reed College) wrote an open letter to Gross, which Mark Liberman has now posted on Language Log (with a link to Fresh Air and one to a transcript of the interview). Khan has many of the same criticisms of the interview that I had of the trailer for the film (I haven’t been able to view the whole film), both of which exhibit deep ignorance about simple (and well-known) facts about language in social life. Some excerpts from Khan’s letter follow.

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Do I Sound Gay?

June 11, 2015

That’s the title of a new documentary movie. From the website:

Do I Sound Gay? A documentary about finding your own voice

(Director David Thorpe seeks advice from vocal coaches, linguists, historians, friends,  strangers, celebrities and others in order to better understand his voice. “Where does my ‘gay voice’ come from?” he asks.)

Is there such a thing as a “gay voice”? Why do some people “sound gay” but not others? Why are gay voices a mainstay of pop culture — but also a trigger for anti-gay harassment? The feature documentary Do I Sound Gay? explores these questions and more and includes revealing interviews with Margaret Cho, Tim Gunn, Don Lemon, Dan Savage, David Sedaris and George Takei.

I’m about about to be interviewed by a journalist in connection with the movie, but without having seen the thing (it premiered at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival but won’t be released in theaters until July 10th, starting in NYC). Considerable trepidation.

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