"Do You Sound Like A Lesbian?" Video From Here TV Documents How Foolish It Is To Assume Someone's Sexuality Based Off Their Voice — VIDEO
People go to pretty extensive lengths to boil down entire communities of people to single stereotypes, assigning them certain clothes, demeanors, habits, and general ways of life. Here TV's video "Do You Sound Like A Lesbian?" tackles one of these stereotypes — "sounding gay" — and points out exactly how silly it is to say someone "sounds gay" in the process. In it, host Taylor Barrett asks people to identify the lesbian in a group of five women based solely on how they sound and nothing else — and guess what happens? Frst hint: They're all lesbians. Second hint: You can't determine someone's sexual preference based off the tone, timbre, or pitch of their voice. But please, don't let me tell you what everyone should already know by now.
The video is based off the new documentary "Do I Sound Gay?" by filmmaker David Thorpe, featuring the voices of LGBTQ celebrities such as Margaret Cho, Don Lemon, Tim Gunn, George Takei, and Dan Savage. In the documentary, Thorpe polls strangers on the street in Times Square asking them if he sounds gay, since it's something he's been told all his life and doesn't love to hear. He tackles this internalized homophobia in the documentary by analyzing other issues as well, such as stereotypes, masculinity, and self-hate.
And that's where Here TV and Taylor Barrett come in, with a variation on this theme. The video starts with Barrett asking a group of people if they thought they could identify someone's sexual preference based off the way they sound. The answers ranged from "Um, there's a possibility" to "Sure" and "Yes." Each participant was then presented with a group of five women who were asked to say sentences like, "I never leave the house without chapstick," "I do not look like Justin Beiber," "I have a telepathic relationship with my ex-girlfriend," "There is cat hair on my vibrator," and "My favorite store is Home Depot" — all stereotypes of things a lesbian might say.
Then, those listening to the women speak were asked to judge which one of them was a lesbian prompted by the question, "Can you tell me based off the way they spoke which one of them is gay?" Here's a selection of the responses:
1. "No, but I can guess."
When this woman selected the person she thought was gay, Barrett asked, "What about her voice indicated that she was gay?", to which the woman responded, "Just the sound." People make assumptions and stick people in boxes, but when it comes to articulating why they do it, they can't. What does "just the sound" even mean?
2. "Oh my gosh, I just feel this is so un-politically correct."
Yep, you're right, lady!
3. "You're going to make me insult one of them? That's not very nice!"
Right, because being called a lesbian is an insult! Because homosexuality is bad and insulting! This guy really seems to be onto something! Except no, he isn't. Here's yet another thing to add to that list of things that aren't insults.
4. "Well, I really, really don't know, but I'll choose her."
"Some have a vibe," apparently. Whatever that means.
5. "Number two. She said it nice and boldly."
Because lesbian equals bold? I guess I'll take that as a compliment...?
6. "Something about the way she said it. Just sounds more assertive."
Right, because women can't sound assertive without being lesbians.
Check out the full video below — and remember, folks: The only way to identify if someone is gay, straight, or anything else is if they offer forth that information themselves.
Images: HereTV'sChannel/YouTube (6)