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Why do people think the "gay voice" is done on purpose?

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Tritri, Jan 25, 2020.

  1. Tritri

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    I have the "gay voice" to an extent and I know I don't purposely put it on. Recently I actually tried to make myself "sound straight" while ordering ice cream at an ice cream shop. It's hard to judge how you sound by listening to yourself in real time, but it felt like the harder I tried to sound straight, the gayer I sounded (Chip once claimed that in general the harder you try to fly below people's gaydars, the easier it is to spot you; I don't know why). After that I decided to not worry about my voice or pay attention to it anymore.
    So the question is (as I said) why people think it's done on purpose. I see this particularly on reddit, which is not a homophobic website, so I don't think it's just homophobia. Perhaps they're only referring to the gay men whose gay voices are over-the-top, which often are put on. I don't know.
    I had a math professor in college with gay voice, significantly more than my own. I'll be honest and say I found it annoying at first, but I didn't judge him for it because I figured he can't help it. Eventually I got used to it. I can't imagine believing that he makes an active effort to sound like that, especially since he would have to be doing it literally every single time he speaks.
     
  2. Aussie792

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    I presume most people think so because it's learnt, even if it isn't deliberate. It can be very hard to distinguish the two in your mind.

    Some people do have multiple, fairly natural voices. I sound much more southern, proper and educated when I'm at work or uni than I do when visiting family in regional Queensland. Neither is fake or put on - I learned both through different social groups and they naturally come out in different social contexts.

    I think much the same applies with lots of gay people who hang out in both a predominantly gay social sphere and a predominantly straight one.
     
  3. Oliverrrrr

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    For some it's an affection, for sure. For others it just is a part of who they are.

    For instance, i used to live 2 doors down from a fairly large and rough family who had some slightly dodgy criminal connections. Lovely people on the whole. They had a number of sons and daughters, most of whome were the usual football and Princess obsessed kids, apart from one boy. 7 when i knew him. He spoke in the campest voice you could imagine and he threw shade like he'd been doing it all his life. I once asked his mum if there was maybe any crazy aunts he'd learnt it from, or did he watch nothing but Carry On films, but no. Apparently he'd always just been that way. Camp as tits. This was 30 years ago so way before drag Queens were on the telly.

    It was so strong in him you would find it hard to beleive he hadn't learnt it somewhere, when clearly it was just his natural form of expression. Why that is so hard to beleive is that we seek meaning in things purely in terms of our own reference. Some things are just hard to understand till you see them with your own eyes.

    I actually met the kid again on the street many years later, as an adult, with his 3yr old daughter and it's mum. Seperated but still best mates, apparently she was the first person to sit him down and explain to him that he was gay, which he finally came to accept for himself.
     
  4. Devil Dave

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    Probably because the gay voice is widely made fun of.

    Butch guys have to put on the gay voice when they make fun of gay guys. They assume that because it does not come naturally to them that it must learned and practiced by the guys who are speaking in that manner. Loads of people made fun of my voice when I was younger, as if it's something I could easilly control, and they'd make it seem like it was my fault I was being humiliated because I was choosing not to switch it off.

    It's probably the same reason some gay guys describe themselves as "straight acting". They probably are naturally burly and masculine, a lot of gay guys are, and because they aren't feeling the urge to prance around like fairies, they assume the guys who are prancing around like fairies are putting on an act. Because something doesn't come naturally to us, we assume it doesn't come naturally to others.
     
  5. Oliverrrrr

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    By the way, the voice that I think is being referred to is known as 'camp' in the uk. Is that not the case in the US?
     
  6. Lek

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    After reading this post, I stumbled onto this video:
    "Who Sounds Gay?"

     
  7. Destin

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    I'm conflicted on it. I know there's obviously straight guys who sound like that too as shown in the video above this, but on the other hand I've met sooooo many gay guys that do it on purpose. They sound totally different around straight people than they do around gay people. Bisexuals are the most obvious about it too for some reason, I've seen bi guys go from super masculine around their straight frat bros to screaming "yaaas queen!!!!" at a gay person within minutes.
     
  8. Tritri

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    This is probably the best explanation I've read so far. Even women might be so used to men speaking "normally" that they find it hard to believe the gay voice isn't intentionally put on, since it's so different and seems artificial compared to what they're used to.
     
  9. Devil Dave

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    I also agree with Aussie that people can have multiple voices, depending on what situation we're in.

    You might speak softly around children, compared to how you speak around adults in a pub, for instance. I think for some people its more like a natural reaction than putting on an act. My sister's partner has relatives from up north, and when they come to visit, his northern accent suddenly kicks in. That can be quite jarring, since I'm used to hearing him speak one way.

    I have at least two different voices. If I haven't spoken for a long time, and then I suddenly say something, my voice comes out croaky. I was very quiet as a child, so people would make fun of my low grunting voice when I gave a quick reply to a question. And then there's my very camp voice which occurs when I need to speak up about something, or if I become animated and talk at length about a subject I'm passionate about. I'm not putting on these voices, it just happens.

    I've never been a fan of my own voice. The last time I listened to a recording of myself was when I lost my phone and I tried calling myself and heard my ring back message, and I thought "Ugghh it sounds horrible. As soon as I find my phone I'm gonna delete it and bring back the nice automated network lady's voice".

    If I could choose my voice, I would not pick any of the voices I have. I would love to have a voice like Liam Neeson or Jeff Bridges or something, but it ain't gonna happen.
     
  10. I'mStillStanding

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    I do believe some people put on the “gay voice” but like you I’ve always had it. I blame 8 years of speech therapy with women and all but who cares this is how I sound. I will say it’s just like being from the south, I know a natural southern accent verses a fake one. And a fake one is so grating. Same with the gay voice, when I hear someone faking that I’m like bless their hearts... they clearly are still having issues accepting their sexuality otherwise they wouldn’t try and be more gay to prove their gayness... just my opinion though.