Why Do Gay Men Sound…Gay?

By Ockydub | Posted Oct 9 2014 | 94 Comments  

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There is no way to ask this question without accusations of being some type of a’phobic. I’m not one to shy away from asking real honest questions just because the nature of the question could be interpreted as being offensive. Critical thinking is becoming a lost practice while emotional knee jerk reactions and false outrage takes precedence. It’s as if being the first to express outrage on the back of political correctness proves somehow one is more in tune or progressive in thought.

I attempted to conduct an impromptu survey and posed a question within different social media groups “why do gay men talk like that?” Predictably, I was met with some minor backlash and criticism. “Talk like what? What do gay people sound like? Allow people to be who they are” and a couple of more cliché mantras; however no one attempted to answer the question.

I will digress for a minute and share something about myself. When it comes to images of black and ethic men in media, I’m a bit sensitive; perhaps even overly sensitive. That’s because I detest stereotypes, including stereotypes about homosexual men of color. Masculine or feminine, we all know what those stereotypes are. Regardless if based in truth or not, when it comes to gay men the main two stereotypes are that gay men are effeminate and they talk gay.

Truth is these main two stereotypes are in fact archetypes. Can we be honest and say that the majority (even if it’s not an overwhelming majority) of gay men are effeminate and a huge portion of gay men talk with a lisp or with a certain type of gay accent. Whenever television shows or other forms of live action media needs to let the audiences know a character is gay, what model is presented; a campy, effeminate, sassy, fashionably trendy gay man who talks with lispy dictions or gay twangs. When comedians perform their stand up and imitate gay men, they use similarly use this archetypal model which contains the gay accent.

Before I continue and hopefully before emotional knee jerk reactions begin to fire off verbal shots of internalized homophobia, effemophobia and patriarchal masculine standards, understand I’m in no way saying these types of gay men need to adjust and change to make me or anyone else feel comfortable. Absolutely NOT! First, who am I to demand such a thing? Second, individuals should unquestionably be true to themselves and live their life…but that’s not the question or conversation. My question is simply, why are these gay men and in the context of their accent the gay standard?

Are many homosexual men born this way, without a doubt some are but can we also be honest and state that many young gay men adopt these characteristics. Whether it’s because of their environment, social circles or consumption of the gay cultural archetypes presented, many gay men become indoctrinated into gay mainstream life, which includes language, slang and gay lisps. Individual homosexuality becomes gay assimilation by mimicking the supposed right way to be gay. I have been in Atlanta, Georgia for almost 15 years. I have witnessed men’s dialect and diction (amongst other things) change once they became immersed in gay culture.

In searching online for answers, I came across the expected overly positive “love who you are-why does it matter-who cares what others think” responses…duh, of course; however there were few to no attempts of critical thinking to actually answer the question. If you look at and listen to many gay men from around the world (regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or culture), a tremendous amount of them talk with a lisp or in “gay speak.” How is this possible?

Regardless if you think or feel my legitimate question in based in malice, others have dropped the defensiveness stance and are attempting to honestly examine the question. From ‘Gay Voice’ in The University of Toronto Magazine, June 2002:

“Why do some gay men “sound” gay? After three years of research, linguistics professors Henry Rogers and Ron Smyth may be on the verge of answering that question. After identifying phonetic characteristics that seem to make a man’s voice sound gay, their best hunch is that some gay men may subconsciously adopt certain female speech patterns. They want to know how men acquire this manner of speaking, and why – especially when society so often stigmatizes those with gay-sounding voices.

Rogers and Smyth are also exploring the stereotypes that gay men sound effeminate and are recognized by the way they speak. They asked people to listen to recordings of 25 men, 17 of them gay. In 62 per cent of the cases the listeners identified the sexual orientation of the speakers correctly. Perhaps fewer than half of gay men sound gay, says Rogers. “The straightest-sounding voice in the study was in fact a gay man, and the sixth gayest-sounding voice was a straight man.”

Gay Filmmaker David Thorpe successfully raised over $120,000 for his upcoming documentary Do I Sound Gay, in which he labels the phenomenon as “gay voice.” I hope the documentary really examines this topic and doesn’t route to blaming the evils of masculine patriarchy or resorting to the “it doesn’t matter, love who you are” mantra without actually (and possibly historically) answering the question. Check out the trailer below.

I understand that there may not currently be any legitimate answers to the question; nonetheless that doesn’t mean we can’t ask. As it pertains to many homosexual men, how does attraction to the same sex causes vocal cords and voice inflections to change? Why do so many gay men around the world sound Gay? Even if we just chalk this up to “it’s just the gay culture thing” how did this particular way of speaking become a gay standard? Can we at least start an honest conversation?

 

 

 

About the Author
Ockydub

Octavius is a founder and editor of Cypher Avenue. He's here to help speak for us and show the world that masculine gay / bisexual men of color are not a part of the stereotypical gay normal that is seen and fed to the masses. No...we are a distinct breed, filled with character and pride. Cypher Avenue is here to show the world how we are different.

   
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94 Comments Feel Free To Join The Cypher.

  1. Tony L. Carr, MPAff.
    Tony L. Carr, MPAff. | October 9th, 2014
    0

    *giggle*

  2. hannibal
    Hannibal | October 9th, 2014
    +1

    Ain’t you a gay? How do you sound?

    • SB3
      African "Voodoo" King | October 9th, 2014
      0

      Well in @ocky‘s case I would say he does not speak like the dudes in this documentary lol

    • Ocky "The Thing" Williams | October 9th, 2014
      +1

      Typical defense and deflection without answering the question is to be Expected.

  3. SB3
    African "Voodoo" King | October 9th, 2014
    +1

    I will admit that I’ve heard myself in videos that I recorded before I hit puberty and I cringe at how I sound lol. After the start of high school, I guess I didn’t sound “as gay” anymore. I never got told I talk gay but because I became more aware about my sexuality in high school, I was very self-conscious about everything because I wanted no one else to have a clue about me. So pretty much in high school I didn’t say a word. I got so much attention because I am an identical twin but that’s about it. People would always be like “You’re so quiet.” Then when I would talk, I did not get good responses from people but being bullied made me very cold at one point so I was very stand-offish and VERY MEAN AND VERY SARCASTIC. Everyone thought I was such an asshole. Lol.

    Then I left high school and went to college. So much changed. I met so many people, mostly Nigerians (and other first-generation Africans) and African-Americans, and I was very much involved on campus. Talking and spending time with several people. At least no one said anything to my face but usually I would get that my voice was very loud, deep and that I had a “southern drawl” on my voice. People thought I would hold out my vowels when I pronounced words because I wanted to make sure people would hear what I was saying. But yeah as I’ve gotten older, I love my voice and I definitely think it is very unique. Upon first impression, you can’t tell where I am from because I speak pretty proper as people have told me. But as you get to know me, you will see my Houston come out and my Nigerian come out. I guess it is all a part of me.

    I don’t really know why many gay men “speak gay” really. I remember growing up seeing the boys that just spoke like that in pre-school and elementary. I didn’t get it and I remember especially in middle & high school. I noticed it so much more. Especially with the more feminine dudes, regardless of their race, and the guys had a lisp or there was just a way that their speaking patterns were more “like a woman” for a lack of better choice of words. I think that it is innate for quite a few guys to speak the way they do but then I do think some boys grow into the gay men they are and have the “gay voice” because that is what they possibly think they should sound like. It’s like “I’m gay and I need to look, speak, act, dress, etc LIKE THIS.”

    That’s my take on the matter @ocky!

    • lyriq88
      ChuckFKALyriq | October 10th, 2014
      +1

      I agree with a lot of what you just said here. I think you have some younger boys who you can just tell distanced themselves from masculine things early (along the same way so girls distance themselves from girlish things in favor of being “Tom Boy’ish” & rough) & then you have the boys who adopt the feminine voice simply because they think they should. There’s two sides to that answer I believe.

  4. Raymond "The Shining" Wright II | October 9th, 2014
    0

    It’s funny I actually know a number of dudes who sound “gay” but are straight. Yeah they are on the feminine side a little bit but they are straight. And I feel that the reason they sound like this is because they grew up around women. but I guess what I’m talking about is kind of different (I think) But I just wanted to throw that out there

    • SB3
      African "Voodoo" King | October 9th, 2014
      +1

      I see what you’re talking about mostly with WHITE MEN. I just don’t think the standards of masculinity so to speak are as rigid and strict as it is with black men. In the hood, I know so many men I grew up with that got punched in the chest at 5, 6, or 7 years old by their father’s (or another male influence) telling them how to behave and act and “how to be a man”.

      • Raymond "The Shining" Wright II | October 9th, 2014
        -1

        Damn that sounds pretty rough

      • Gabe202 | October 9th, 2014
        +1

        Raymond, you are right. Most white men are not so paranoid about their masculinity and always feeling the need to beat their chest and act like an asshole just to prove something as opposed to black men, especially those in the hood.

  5. Christopher | October 9th, 2014
    +2

    This is an interesting topic that I’ve always wondered about. I’ve never understood it, but IMO I think most men do it to fit in. What these guys don’t realize is that being gay doesn’t mean you have to change the way you speak, etc.

  6. Dean | October 9th, 2014
    +1

    I suspect that gay men have a certain sound for at least two reasons:

    1. There is likely or may be a genetic component to it. That is, I suspect that the same gene or genetic reason that someone is gay maybe or is likely related to the gene or genetic reason for the sound of the voice.

    And 2. There is such a thing as a gay culture and a gay community. To the extent that gays have a culture and a community and that they partake and interact in it, they pick up on each other’s voice inflections and “sounds”. For example, move to China or Jamaica and in time you will sound more and more like a Chinese or Jamaican man in your voice, voice inflections, etc. If you don’t think so, get a group of friends (and ditch your American friends for a few years), and get only Chinese or Jamaican friends and I’ll guarantee that you’ll sound much more Chinese or Jamaican at the end of that time.

  7. TR | October 9th, 2014
    0

    There is nothing worst than a gay man who sounds gay, but tries to “butch” it up to sound straight. I used to date this hood dude who was very masculine but sounded gay at times, not all of the time, but some of the times… especially with certain words. But that wasn’t what bothered me. What bothered me was hearing him trying to sound straight, especially around other straight hood dudes…it was actually embarrassing, but I loved him, so I let him rock.

  8. UncontrolledXenomorph | October 9th, 2014
    +2

    Shaun T.’s voice is why I can’t deal with him. “Tuck, tilt, and ti-tin.” Nice to look at, but that voice ruins the entire package.

    I have always wondered why you could always id the obviously gay guys by voice no matter where you are from. Even in the mid 90s when I was in college, where people were from all over the country but “the gays” all sounded similarly.

    I can’t stand gay slang terms… “coins””yasss!””no mam””co-reck””hunny””tea”

    Some gay men sound like a mashup of singing, Valley talk, and whining:

    “Like, oh my gawwwdd, did you have sex with hiiimmm? How big was his piece, gurl?”
    “Oooohh gurrrll, that thang was biiiig hunny! He had a dick for the gawds hunny.”

    Did these guys actually talk in this sing/speech tone when they were kids?

    So, I’ll take that some of it is natural to them and some is learned like the slang term use and being around the same people all the time, you tend to sound like them without even realizing that your own voice and speech pattern has changed to match up with your area. I have seen…errr heard this when people from the south spend a significant amount of time up north then come back to the south. They sound a little different. Not overly so, but noticeably so.

    • SB3
      African "Voodoo" King | October 10th, 2014
      0

      LOL AT THE SHAUN T MENTION.

    • Dre of the Dead | October 10th, 2014
      0

      I thought I was the only one stuck on him saying tilt tuck tigh-en lol

      • SB3
        African "Voodoo" King | October 10th, 2014
        0

        LOL YEAH BRO I REMEMBER THOSE HIP-HOP ABS COMMERCIALS. I had to really just sit there and listen. I was like… seriously??? hahahahaha but it’s all good. madd respect to shaun T

      • UncontrolledXenomorph | October 10th, 2014
        0

        One of my Xbox One friends from Connecticut says “tie-en” when saying “titan” so, maybe it’s a regional thing.

        But yeah, I fall over myself when Shaun says it.

    • alton
      NYCforEVER | October 10th, 2014
      -1

      I will say this, dude…I’m no Barry White. Matter fact I got teased relentlessly as a kid (pre-puberty) because I had a “Michael Jackson” voice, which in turn made me stop talking unless it was absolutely necessary. Today, my voice is still “lighter” than what one would expect from a dude my height/build however, I don’t “sound gay”. I don’t have that seemingly inherent lisp, I just sound like I should be shorter, skinnier, and nerdier than what I appear LOL Anyways, nikkaz kill me gettin’ mad when someone says “he sounds gay”. “Uh uhhh!!! What you MEEEEAN he SOOOOUND gay!!?? WTF does gay SOUND like, Huney!!?” Muhfuka it sounds like YOU. LMAO

      Shaun T is nice to look at, and honestly I knew he was gay from his voice, long before I even heard mention of him outside of the info-mercial, or knew (via CA) that he was married to a dude, but I can’t take that lisp/lag in his voice.

      Growin’ up we always knew who the gay kids were because of voice and mannerisms, which in itself lends to the theory of genetics. What 5yo is trying to conform to a Gay Lifestyle and thus adopting gay lingo/mannerisms? Well…when I was growin’ up, no 5yo was doin’ that, nowadays it’s a whole different story with these lesbians draggin they kids to Christopher St. and The Piers on Friday nights, and gay dudes bringing throngs of other gay dudes around their young nephews and “Miss Huneyin'” it up. LOL!

      • UncontrolledXenomorph | October 10th, 2014
        0

        My voice was so high as a kid, I could ‘whistle’ with my voice. I guess similarly to how Mariah was when she first came out. I hated it. Eventually, my voice got lower. Many have complemented me on my voice saying it’s deep. I don’t hear it deep. But I don’t hear high either. Now, sometimes, when I’m laying down sleeping, I can wake myself up or unintentionally activate my vocal chords just from breathing. I’m not sure where that comes form but it does feel like it’s coming from my diaphragm.

        Now, Elliot Hulse got his voice deeper and you can tell from his earlier vids the difference. He’s hitting his lower vocal register for sure.

        “Breathe into your balls.” lel But this isn’t going to do anything for speech patterns.

        • alton
          NYCforEVER | October 10th, 2014
          0

          I don’t think at this point I can do anything to alter my vocal cord, cigarettes have put a halt to all that. I used to be able to sing really well, but no more. LOL I hear myself in recordings and I think…”damn, I sound like a fuckin nerd”, but never “Damn, I sound gay as fuck” LMAO Now…I will say back when I was immersed in the Ballroom B.S., there was a video we (military folk) recorded when I was stationed in Korea for a going away party we threw for those of us leaving back to the U.S. I watched it sometime afterward and was like….”Daaaaaamn, I looked gay as FUCK!!!” But, I was young (22yo) at the time and figured that’s how I had to act.

      • lyriq88
        ChuckFKALyriq | October 10th, 2014
        0

        I’m gonna have to post a video on the activity stream talking one of these days. People have called me Barry White since I was like, 13/14. Puberty did a ridiculous number on my voice. If only the same could’ve been applied to my muscles and facial hair I would be a happy man lol. I get a lot of male(and female lol) attention for this voice of mine… it’s kind of annoying honestly lol.

        • alton
          NYCforEVER | October 10th, 2014
          0

          I envy you, my friend. LOL!!!! I got a “weak spot” for dudes with deep voices. Probably because I don’t have one.

          • lyriq88
            ChuckFKALyriq | October 10th, 2014
            +2

            Edit: Link to video removed cuz it was huge and obnoxious and…

            maybe I’m overthinking it, but it screamed of narcism to me lol

            • alton
              NYCforEVER | October 10th, 2014
              0

              Oh HYYYYELLZ yea, my dude! LMAO

              • lyriq88
                ChuckFKALyriq | October 10th, 2014
                +1

                LMAO!!! I just wanna fit back in with normal society. The stories I could tell you about situations these vocal cords have landed me in… ridiculous. SMH.

                • alton
                  NYCforEVER | October 10th, 2014
                  0

                  LOL That’s funny, my dude. I need to find me a dude wit a voice like that.LMAO!

                • SB3
                  African "Voodoo" King | October 11th, 2014
                  0

                  WE gotta hear one of those stories tomorrow 😉

            • UncontrolledXenomorph | October 12th, 2014
              0

              “You forgot to close your shaaaaaddeess last night.”

              Actually, the video is still shows up in the activity stream.

              Dude, your voice is deep and it’s nice. Be thankful I say.

              • lyriq88
                ChuckFKALyriq | October 12th, 2014
                0

                Lol thanks man. I appreciate that!

    • SBthe13,000 | October 10th, 2014
      0

      I gotta admit, I always get a laugh out of ‘coins’! Don’t ask me why, but I think it’s hilarious!

      • alton
        NYCforEVER | October 10th, 2014
        0

        I always get a kick out of “Huney/Hunty” because just seeing those terms I can immediately picture a room full of Black & Latino Queens reading each other “to filth”, every sentence/statement ending with…”HUNEY!!!” Cheerleader poses, eyes rolling, heads bobbin’, hands flipping, and feathers flyin’. LMFAO

  9. BlackguyExecutive | October 9th, 2014
    +2

    I think this is a similar line of logic or reasoning when people, often black people asks why do you talk/sound white. I think for most of my life people have asked me why I talk white…its stupid. I will admit that I have a very proper vernacular, primarily because both my parents have very proper speech patterns and diction standards. I don’t necessarily have a gay voice, meaning speaking with a lisps, or high pitch volume but I am from Florida so I often have a southern dialect. With that being said, culturally my voice changes when I am in a room of all black people I can talk with a certain ease or if I am with people I am 100% comfortable with. On the other hand, I mentor some teenage boys at a local middle school and I have to change my speech patterns and even words I use to that we can actively engage in conversation. The same can be said when I am in a gay space, by no means do I totally queen out but I can engage in cultural conversations and I am sure my range of speaking changes. I think language and speaking shifts with certain circumstances but the notion of sounding a certain way is ridiculous. I know some men who have more feminine voices have personas of hyper-masculinity…look at Mike Tysons voice. Basic some gay guys sound gay some don’t. Some have country accents or New York accents, or Spanish accents. Some gays guys have a Ebonics vernacular and some gays speak in a proper syntax. Its all circumstantial and heavily depends on the situation, location one is in. If you in a room full of gay men would you say that the men sound gay?

  10. RolandG
    Roland Beelzebub-Garros | October 9th, 2014
    +1

    I think only a small portion of men would admit to changing their speech because of their group of friends or surroundings. I remember reading a report about an Australian rugby player in which the writer pointed out to him that he was completely masculine until he got around a certain group of his friends. @ocky, sometimes it really is natural. How else do you explain little 5-year old boys who are effeminate and sound like little girls in their speech patterns? I’m sure they’re not picking that up from their gay friends. They’re not hanging out at the local disco balls. I have to say this isn’t a topic I think or care about too much because the answer is either they transform to fit their surroundings or they just have a feminine voice naturally. I believe you’re putting too much thought and energy into this IMO. *shrugs*

  11. Rod Turpin
    Roooooooooood! | October 9th, 2014
    +3

    I suspect for some guys its a combination of biological and environmental factors, but for others its purely biological (for example, some men who are mildly intersexed have completely male anatomy, but have some strong female genetic characteristics (like wide hips, certain elements of bone structure, etc. That’s not to say all gay men are partially intersexed, but it does illustrate a well-documented genetic basis for this in at least some individuals).

  12. Dreamwalker
    Discordance | October 9th, 2014
    0
  13. DarkBLYoshi | October 10th, 2014
    0

    I am of the opinion that it might be a matter of social in-grouping and out-grouping. It tends to happen that if someone wants to be or feel like a part of a particular group they unconsciously adopt the group slang or language of that group. For example when I’m with my brothers or masculine friends I tend to change my vernacular to include terms like ” ‘sup”, “bro” or “dude” simply because I want to fit in with them. I found that I don’t do this consciously, but only noticed that I tend to only use these terms when I was around them. I think this might be applied to gay culture in that when a person is surrounded by effeminate men that have the gay “lisp” and want to be considered as a part of that group they might adopt the lisp to feel included. If this adoption happens often enough it might become a more permanent part of their speech and language. This speech adopting also happens in a wide variety of other situations as well. Although this doesn’t address where the “lisp” originated from, it is my opinion on how it has become so widespread in the gay community.

  14. lyriq88
    ChuckFKALyriq | October 10th, 2014
    +2

    Like many have said, it’s truly a mix of biological & environmental factors. People often change their speech patterns to better address particular groups of people. When I’m around my black friends/people I’m 100% comfortable with, you probably see the most genuine me. Basically you’ll hear my primary way of speaking with undertones of different speech patterns I use with other groups. When I’m in Texas/Louisiana around family, I use slang and words that I probably don’t use when I’m in Cali. When I’m at work/formal setting I automatically switch to my most professional manner of speaking.

    I don’t think I use a lot of gay slang around gays though. I often feel weird the couple of times I’ve tried to just “blend” and it just… yeah, naw lol. Oddly enough, I use the word “shade” a lot more in my main group of straight friends. Due to television, a lot of women and a decent number of straight males around me use the term “Shade” a lot. I used to be 100% against it but… hey, when in Rome lol. Hell, even my dad told me the other day “Lies you tell! That’s what Tamar say right?” He’s picked that up from watching Reality TV with his wife. It’s annoying lol.

    In that above example, that’s mainly a culture thing. Things get adopted overtime from different groups of people and certain things there were specific to one group of people become normalized and acceptable for all. But I also met a kid who was about 11/12 the other day at a theme park who had a very flamboyant demeanor and way of speaking who was with a black mother figure and a white father figure. Not sure if he was adopted or if the white guy was the step father, but these were his guardians. I can tell they’ve just left him to be who he is, which is honestly great because as I’ve learned first hand, no amount of berating a kid or beating him will make him straight. But yeah, I just assumed that kid had opted (most likely subconsciously) to take after the more feminine examples around him and was predisposed to be feminine. It does indeed happen…

    Hell, my mom told me that I used to play with barbies as a kid and it drove my father and his mother crazy. I never really liked to play sports with the other boys and was more of a nerd/video game kid. I grew to be decently masculine later in life, but those were my beginnings. It’s hard to get to the root of it just as it’s hard to determine why someone is gay in the first place. Is it Nature or Nurture?

    • SB3
      African "Voodoo" King | October 10th, 2014
      +1

      LOL when I read the following: “Hell, even my dad told me the other day “Lies you tell! That’s what Tamar say right?” He’s picked that up from watching Reality TV with his wife. It’s annoying lol.” & also “Hell, my mom told me that I used to play with barbies as a kid and it drove my father and his mother crazy. I never really liked to play sports with the other boys and was more of a nerd/video game kid.”

      I CAN RELATE TO MOST OF THIS RIGHT HERE!!! I played with all my action figures and stuff then I remember seeing a boy on a barbie commercial and thought “hmmmmm???” Then me and my brothers begged our parents for one doll each. Played with them then we saw reactions from just a few people giving us the side-eye. Then we were like, “OKAY! these hoes going in the trash!” A huge part of the interest in some of the barbie doll stuff is because we had a girl that lived right across from our family in another townhome that had pretend tea parties with us and since she was an only child, she wanted people to play with. Maybe she is to blame!!! LOL. My dad was shocked when we had them for a lil minute then ecstatic when we let them go. Went right back to my action figures and video games. I will say that I was an avid sports player. I loved going outside and playing football, kickball, “cops & robbers” (all my hood bred guys know this game lol), and so on.

      I will say that I am my most authentic self around my family and Nigerians. My Nigerian accent and all the Nigerian pidgin (broken English) comes out. Then I get on my “nigga wave” as some of my family members call it because I will start doing vocal impersonations of black people from SW Houston. @lyriq88 will know what I mean when he reads the part about SW houston lmao

      As for the reality show stuff, it is my guilty pleasure. Preachers of LA, Love & Hip-Hop, Couples Therapy, Sisterhood of Hip-Hop, and CHEATERS!!!

      • lyriq88
        ChuckFKALyriq | October 10th, 2014
        0

        LOL! That’s how my barbie situation happened. My mom’s best friend at the time had a daughter who was around my age and she had barbie dolls. She would give me the Ken Doll and I’d be the husband, she’d take Barbie and be the wife. Sometimes I grabbed the other girl dolls to play as her friends/daughters of our Barbie/Ken couple. So like you, a girl is part of the reason that happened lol. I remember being like 8 or 9 and I was invited to spend the night at her house and my dad heavily tried to talk me out of it, but didn’t want to outright forbid me to go. He’s all “Young boys just don’t spend the night at young girl’s homes. They have sleep overs with boys so they can play video games together and blah blah blah.” Another example of parents projecting bullshit onto kids. My two other brothers went and they’re straight as an arrow. I don’t blame him for it, but it’s that kind of logic that fucks people up in the head.

        But anyway, I also played outside. I liked kickball, hide and seek, cops and robbers… etc. But most of the neighborhood boys took basketball and football a lot more serious than I did so I just opted out of those. Give me an SNES/Sega Genesis and I’m good for hours lol.

        But yeah, I know what you mean about that Houston talk @africanking. Everything is “throwed”. “Yeah man, I was at that Kanye concert the other night that shit was throwed.” I kinda like that one lol. I use it here in LA sometimes. Them dudes call their homeboys their “partnaz” which is… IDK, they can have that lol. Then it cracks me up how the word “hoe” can be a noun for almost anything. I love H-Town. LOL

        • SB3
          African "Voodoo" King | October 10th, 2014
          0

          Yeah “hoe”, “mug”… I love HTown slang. It is too “throwed”! LOL 😛

          But yeah the video games man… I used to play my role-playing games for hours and hours on end. Final Fantasy VII was my shit! But of course I played my fighting games, adventure games and ESPECIALLY WRESTLING GAMES! I took that stuff to seriously. I remember getting so fuckin mad that I threw the controller at the ground and hitting my lil bro in the head by accident. I felt so bad and comforted him. I was at one of my best friend’s houses at the time and his grandma was like “Whuuuuttt da hell goin on up deh?! Dat boy iz cryyiiin like a polar bear!!!” I was just glad my lil bro was okay lol.

          • lyriq88
            ChuckFKALyriq | October 10th, 2014
            0

            Jeez, @africanking. You’re violent. LOL. But ummmm… we might be kindred spirits man! Final Fantasy VII was also my shit!!! I just got done telling my friend about it lol. I’ve played that game so many times lol.

            • SB3
              African "Voodoo" King | October 10th, 2014
              +1

              I never finished the game lol. I was probably 6 or 7 at the time and too scared to face Sephiroth. But I made up for that by defeating him on Kingdom Hearts when PS2 came out. I was so proud of beating Kingdom Hearts!

              • lyriq88
                ChuckFKALyriq | October 10th, 2014
                +1

                Eh, I haven’t gotten around to completing Kingdom Hearts yet. It’s so long. So much to do. One day soon though! But give VII another go if you ever get some free time. It’s truly a fun story. I tried for the first time when I was like 11. Didn’t beat it for awhile because my parents failed when it came to our toys and just refused to buy us a memory card lol. So I was never able to save progress until I got one when I was around 14, which is when I finally beat it. Good times man lol.

                • SB3
                  African "Voodoo" King | October 11th, 2014
                  0

                  lol I REMEMBER not having a memory card!!! I was glad that we finally had it when we had games like Fighting Force and Bloody Roar so we could finally save our progress on our PSX (aka PS1/Playstation).

                • Michael "Amityville" Brown | October 11th, 2014
                  +1

                  Ooooooohhhh Bloody Roar! I loved that shit man. I thought that game was so creative and cool. FInal Fantasy Vll…shiiiit too long for me.

              • UncontrolledXenomorph | October 10th, 2014
                +1

                I beat him on my first go. My character was so powerful by the time I made it to the end. I did have the tip book that came out which helped in some areas. There was no beating those Weapons though. That’s just hard for the sake of being hard.

                But oddly enough, I did not cash Knights of the Round on him to beat him.

                • lyriq88
                  ChuckFKALyriq | October 10th, 2014
                  0

                  I always cast Knights of the Round simply because… it was awesome. LOL. I thoroughly enjoyed that animation. The weapons are the only reason I want to go back and play that game again. Never beat Emerald or Ruby. But I know it’s possible. So one day I’m going to figure out how to do it. One. Sweet. Day.

                • UncontrolledXenomorph | October 12th, 2014
                  0

                  Alright, Mariah. Lol

                  Yeah, I’m grinding FFX HD Remix now just to build up so I can fight the ultra hard bosses in that game.

                  If they do an HD remake of 7, I’ll go for it.

                • lyriq88
                  ChuckFKALyriq | October 12th, 2014
                  0

                  Completely forgot FFX HD remix even came out. Now I have to buy it and sink countless hours into it. Thanks for that reminder that I definitely didn’t need lol

          • Ocky "The Thing" Williams | October 12th, 2014
            0

            Imma need yall to try to stay on topic.

            • SB3
              African "Voodoo" King | October 12th, 2014
              0

              LOL sorry about that bro but we had a connection of sorts I guess

        • alton
          NYCforEVER | October 10th, 2014
          0

          Dude, my aunt used to make me play with her Barbies when I was like 5-6 (she’s only 11yrs older than me) Funny thing is when she was a Junior/ Senior in high school and on the cheerleading team, I used to mock her when she was practicin’ those stupid ass staccato/ static/ robot moves and those stupid ass exaggerated head nods in the mirror, and she would get made at me and say “stop that before your turn out to be ‘funny'” Trick…didn’t you just have me playin’ with Barbies like 2 yrs ago? LOL!

          • SB3
            African "Voodoo" King | October 10th, 2014
            0

            lol that’s funny. contradicting herself

          • lyriq88
            ChuckFKALyriq | October 10th, 2014
            0

            LOL… black folks and the gay struggle… we shall overcome one of these days LOL

          • UncontrolledXenomorph | October 10th, 2014
            0

            Ok. So did anyone not play with Barbies seems to be the question?

            My cousin’s Barbies were straight up THOTs. I think there was one black Ken and one white Ken to like 6 or 7 Barbies. They would be fighting over the two Kens and there was always some lesbian action going on. Oddly enough, the two Kens never crossed that line.

            • lyriq88
              ChuckFKALyriq | October 10th, 2014
              +2

              Clearly barbies are the gateway to homosexuality. We need to delete this thread before the media gets ahold of this information.

              • SB3
                African "Voodoo" King | October 11th, 2014
                0

                Yeah pretty much. I can’t believe I have revealed this much info. Hahahaha! I’ve come so far on here. #cypheravenuefam

  15. achris
    achris | October 10th, 2014
    +1

    As many have already hinted to, I think some (well a lot) of it is “code-switching.” In the same way I use a more informal and culturally specifically type of speech around black friends in informal settings, many gay men may do the same. Although I do have gay friends/associates who will use gay slang or “sound gay” in certain environments, these same people will become the most professional sounding men in the workplace or a networking event. It just depends on the person (although I know there are some gay guys that just naturally have lighter voices or lisps and even if they aren’t necessarily using slang or referring to something gay they still sound more feminine)>

  16. SBthe13,000 | October 10th, 2014
    0

    I’m gonna say this is all ‘culture’. Knowing a lil boy is gay at 7 is totally different than sounding gay. I think it’s all about exposure to the gays around you. Many gay men associate speaking softly w being more fem/girly, so they run w it.

    This is why I’m always saying masc gay men need to be more proactive about exposure! If young gay boys knew that feminine isn’t what it meant or the to be gay, I put all of my ‘coins’ on the fact that we’d see a lot less ‘gay voice.’

  17. soulsinna | October 10th, 2014
    +2

    Growing up, I pretty much hung around girls because they were ones interested in reading and art. And though I had action figures and male toys, I was much more interested in Barbies and played with them “secretly” until I was about 12. I can remember as early as 7 or 8 being told that I talked like a girl which eventually evolved into me talking gay once I hit my teens. It didn’t help that my voice didn’t do a drastic drop in octave during this time or that I still socialized with girls, mainly because that’s who accepted me and who I felt more comfortable around. I wasn’t teased as much and didn’t have to put on some front of masculinity to be accepted. Years later, I don’t get you sound gay so much as that I talk properly or white, even so to the point some years back I had a white women argue me down when she assumed I was from England due to how she perceived the how properly I spoke. So I said all the above to say, that I definitely think that upbringing has something to do with it, along with society’s perceptions about what we should sound like as male/female, and the different spaces we travel in…gay ones included. It’ll be interesting to see how the documentary listed above will deal with this issue. But I guess in the meantime, I’ll take my gay sounding, white boy talking ass over here in this corner and continue to watch the conversation unfold with my Long Island Iced Tea! Yaaasss Gawdt!!!

  18. Ocky "The Thing" Williams | October 10th, 2014
    +1

    Follow Up Question: Some here have stated they switch up and talk a certain way when they are around or in a gay friendly environments. I take it this means…more fem/gay sounding in addition to using gay culture slang. Are we not able to be comfortable with ourselves to the point where needing to change one’s voice and diction is needed to fit into gay circles? Is it a “girls only / no boys allowed” type scenario?

    I completely understand talking to different groups in different ways so points can be conveyed but I’m asking why does talking and communicating in gay circles has to equal talking gay or fem? How is this not a form of rejecting masculinity or maleness?

    • lyriq88
      ChuckFKALyriq | October 10th, 2014
      +1

      Personally, I don’t believe the slang/words themselves equate can fit into masculine/feminine boxes. Words are just words to me. Like I said prior, my own father straight up said to me in regular conversation “lies you tell” to me the other day. He just saw it on reality tv with his wife and I’ve since learned that they use certain phrases from those shows together all the time. Granted, I don’t think THEY know the roots of these phrases but… I digress.

      I’ve never really had an issue with the words, as I find the slang itself to just be “gay culture”. Like I’ve used “urban slang” around none-blacks before and they were lost and confused… lol. So to only use the slang within a gay audience, where there’s an understanding and appreciation for it, doesn’t seem like a rejection of masculinity or maleness.

      Masculinity I don’t think has to be so rigid to label a man feminine if he chooses to engage in some gay vernacular while amongst gays. The same way a man isn’t feminine if he chooses to ride out to Mary J. Blige & Beyonce when he’s solo, but wouldn’t blast it in a car with his niggas (I know MANY straight men like this). But to directly answer your question, I personally have never found most of the slang to be “feminine” in nature. They’re more hilarious to me than anything. Tho once you cross into “huntey”, “GURL”, “BIIIIITCH” & “YAAAAAAAAS” territory, usually those words accompany the “gay lisp” and it just reminds you of… well… women lol.

      So I say all that to say, under the umbrella of “Talking Gay” I’d probably place softer voices, high pitched voices, feminine inflections & mannerisms during said speech. That, I would imagine would be hard to turn on and off. Word choices are the only things I can see that you’d realistically be able to change in a group setting. Anybody care to disagree?

      • Raymond "The Shining" Wright II | October 10th, 2014
        +2

        I don’t know I just feel that it’s different for some people. Like for me (which I find strange) sometimes I kind of adopt a persons speech when I’m having a convo with them. Not on purpose but just because I’m really into the conversation or im just playing around with them. And what I mean by that is I may be having a conversation with a thugged out dude and may say something similar in his vocabulary and tone(sometimes)And next I may have a conversation with a woman and say silly girl shit just to make her laugh (Not yaaaassss or bitich or girl). I guess it’s my way of connecting with the person better in my way. Not to appease them but to kind of relate to them. But this usually happens when I know the person well. But I do go back to my own original speech tho.

        Some people just have it bad where they hear it once or they grew up around it for so long that it’s just a part of them and they can’t turn it off. Like this gay dude at my church. I can tell he grew up around woman by his vocabulary, mannerisms, etc. He says stuff like “Have several seats” and “Yaassssss” “GuuuurrrLLL” etc.

        I feel that we are just all born different and one person may take things different from another person.

        • Rhode | October 11th, 2014
          0

          Maybe you are multi-lingual, not in speaking foreign languages per se, but in your ability to shift your speech patterns when you speak to various people. Just a thought.

          • Raymond "The Shining" Wright II | October 11th, 2014
            +1

            oh yeah I see, I never saw it like that.

    • asingleman | October 11th, 2014
      +2

      Have you ever considered that this is what is normal for these people? Maybe it is their true self to talk or walk in this manner, and they force themselves to act against this in heterosexual company. So when they are around their people, they let go and breathe, and switch and lisp away. Instead of thinking they are letting of go of their real “manly” self for a gay self. Consider that they are taking off their “manly” mask for their real self.

      Do you think 3 year olds are watching “Paris is burning” and learning to vogue? Yet some parents have seriously injured, damaged or even killed their sons because they felt they were “acting gay”.

      I have witnessed many heterosexual men deepen their voices to assert their masculinity.

      Have you ever critically questioned why masculinity has to be taught through rituals and many other forms of socialization?

      Have you ever critically questioned why many black people in America talk the way they do?

      Have you ever critically questioned why many black men walk the way they do?

      Have you critically questioned why you talk and walk the way you do?

      Here you are critically questioning why many gay men talk the way they do.

      And whether you want to admit it or not, this is not a neutral question. You are bothered by the way they talk. You hate it. You find there to be something wrong with it. You moralize it as wrong. In your mind men shouldn’t talk in this manner.

      You are certainly entitled to your opinions. Just don’t try to pass them off as enlightened or more critical. It doesn’t seem like you have critically examined your own prejudices.

      Why do you gay men talk the way they do? Because there is human variation in the world.

      • Ocky "The Thing" Williams | October 11th, 2014
        +2

        Are some gays born a certain way with certain characters, of course; however the overwhelming majority of gay men sounding almost the exact same way? Either it is genetics or culture assimilation.

        For me your response is an emotional one that views this topic as attacking gay fems and the way they speak. Why is it the gay/feminist mainstream can question/examine and even reject masculine, maleness and patriarchy but examination or critique of gays and effeminate men is not allowed or viewed as an attack if the question comes from someone outside of it?

        Your questioning of have I examined of critically thought about other topics outside of this one subject is deflection and a defensive way to say “gays and gay culture is off limits because we haven’t we suffered enough.” Even if I was not an open SGL man, people can and will still question.

        As far as me hating it…that would mean I hate most gay men. Dude, that is wasted energy and it’s not that serious in my spirit. As I stated, I don’t like stereotypes (which include many things) but for this ONE subject it pertains to stereotypical gay speak that crosses over into hyper-exaggerated-femininity that has been adopted by most gay men.

        • asingleman | October 11th, 2014
          +3

          Nope. I certainly don’t think you shouldn’t be allowed to question femininity.

          Which is why I’m surprised you won’t just outrightly admit that you hate feminity in men. Its okay to do so.

          If my response is emotional, so is your post. You guys have a post about how the vogueing video from Paris is gross to you. Again this is not neutral presentation on your parts. You moralize feminity in men as inherently wrong.

          They are not deflections. They are deliberate analogies to make my case.

          You don’t like stereotypes. But you especially hate gay stereotypes. The way you speak is steretypically black American. Yet you don’t hate it. The music you chose to play on your podcasts is stereotypically black American. Yet you don’t hate it.

          Explain to me what it is that is so negative about the feminine speech pattern that you hate on these men?

          • Ocky "The Thing" Williams | October 11th, 2014
            0

            …again HATE? Fortunately Cypher Ave’s body of work and it’s diverse followers prove differently. Nonetheless thanks for visiting and being a voice for those who may share your point of view. Multiple POVs always enrich the conversation. We appreciate it!

            • asingleman | October 11th, 2014
              0

              Question: do you hate or have a problem with or are bothered by displays of femininity in gay men?

              • Michael "Amityville" Brown | October 12th, 2014
                0

                Well, for me personally I don’t have an issue if you are just naturally feminine. I feel like I have both masculine and feminine traits. What irritates me is when someone is really extra with it. That also goes for the guys who try to put on this false bravado and be extra masculine.

                • asingleman | October 12th, 2014
                  0

                  How do you determine if a person is being extra with it?

                • Michael "Amityville" Brown | October 12th, 2014
                  0

                  I equate these men to the loud, ghetto bitches from back home. Just starved for attention and don’t know how to act in public. Hmm…perhaps I have more of an issue with attention whores than anything.

              • Raymond "The Shining" Wright II | October 12th, 2014
                0

                It’s like this. I’m cool with feminine men but when someone thinks that the majority of gay men are feminine, that’s where things can get messed up. I actually have a feminine friend and we have funny conversations. But I don’t like when people (Girls mainly) try to be funny when they snap there fingers and call me girl just because I’m gay. They don’t realize that I’m not that type of gay.

                It’s like when I was in high school. Some white dudes would try to be funny and use slang around me just because I’m Black. It would piss me off when they did that but I didn’t hate them.

                Ocky is only trying to say that just because he’s gay, it doesn’t mean I’m automatically feminine. Because that’s all everyone sees where ever they go. To the mall, on tv, in the movies, etc. He’s just setting the record straight by saying that I’m not your typical gay person that you would see normally. It doesn’t mean he hates feminine men.

                And why would anyone want to be called something that they’re not? If you spoke proper English, would you mind if people called you white-washed? I know I would. Because I would want to set the record straight that just because I’m black, does not mean I’m ratchet or Ghetto.

                • asingleman | October 12th, 2014
                  0

                  In your case it sounds like your displeasure is targeted towards people who prejudge you simply because you are gay. They try to make you conform to gay stereotypes.

                  In Ockys case it sounds like his displeasure is towards people who display feminine speech patterns (and other behaviors).

                • SB3
                  African "Voodoo" King | October 12th, 2014
                  0

                  My Nigerian brother don’t think about it too much man. Just do you. At the end of the day, agree to disagree. It is what it is.

            • Rhode | October 13th, 2014
              0

              I think he made some valid points. It appears you were not fully up to the challenge. Oh well, you cannot win them all.

        • asingleman | October 12th, 2014
          0

          It sounds to me that you are bothered by disruptive behaviour and lack of common courtesy.

          This is way different from having a problem with someone “sounding gay”.

        • UncontrolledXenomorph | October 12th, 2014
          +1

          When a guy is just ‘soft’ and has the lisp, mannerisms, and slang and they are really just being themselves, then that’s not extra. These guys are a little bit extra because there is a camera there, but I see people who talk like this often. This is, I’m sure, closer to their normal tone than not.

          When you are out in public and doing all of the above but are louder, using the finger snaps, falling out, kicking, head and neck rolling, anything that brings even more attention to yourself, you are being extra.

          I don’t have a problem with people being attention whores. Just don’t be one and then try to act like you are not fishing for the attention. If you are going to be an attention whore, don’t deny it.

    • UncontrolledXenomorph | October 11th, 2014
      0

      I don’t do this.

      I’m me all the time. Because of this I have been told that I’m mean because I usually do not hang around a buncha guys who do talk like that anyway. I am naturally quiet so those guys think I’m stuck up. Meh.

      • Michael "Amityville" Brown | October 12th, 2014
        0

        Oh absolutely, but in my experience with gay men the overtly feminine happen to be the disprutive ones in public. Obviously, there are loud and obnoxious masculine gay dudes, but I don’t come into contact with a lot of them.

    • Rox808 | November 19th, 2014
      0

      what up @ocky haha. Funny thing is i actually use more gay slang around my str8 friends. Not like all the time, but sometimes jokingly. Then i just act like “wait? u dont know what shade is? bro, shits hilarious!” As if i just discovered gold or something.

  19. hannibal
    Hannibal | October 10th, 2014
    0

    I don’t know. I do know I’ve gotten a loud gayer since I came out.

    • lyriq88
      ChuckFKALyriq | October 10th, 2014
      0

      This horror poodle in your avi is doing things that I’m not sure I approve of. I’m afraid.

  20. Michael "Amityville" Brown | October 10th, 2014
    0

    Wow, this just made me remember how I used to cringe at the sound of my voice. It has always sounded so gay to me and I used to hate it!

  21. Rhode | October 10th, 2014
    0

    I have always had a high voice. To this day I still get mistaken for a woman when handling business over the phone. But I have been blessed with a fairly decent singing voice (at least I have been told). It has been my cross to bear, but with self acceptance that came later rather than sooner, I have learned to be more okay with it.

    • Raymond "The Shining" Wright II | October 10th, 2014
      +2

      lol for some reason I get an El Debarge singing image from what you just said

  22. Ivan King | October 26th, 2014
    0

    Here is what I think:
    I have always been aware that I “sounded gay” and asked myself why that is. My understanding is that it has everything to do with your surroundings and what you allow yourself to accept and not accept. My dad was in the military and was not around much. I was around my mother the majority of my young life. My mom loves me and really cared for me and gave me a lot of attention. As a boy I would hear my mother talking with her friends on the phone. When I hung out with friends around my way, I mostly hung out with little girls because I related to them mostly having a love for music, crafts, and things that “little girls” do. I had boy friends, but because it was obvious that I was a “gay child,” young boys parents wouldn’t allow them to play with me. My straight brother on the other hand, was just as loved and coddled by our mother, but made it a point to be out of the house with “the boys” playing sports, playing in the dirt, or typical rough-and-tumble play expected of boys.
    My best friends as a child were girls because it wasn’t awkward for me to hang out with them. It was always a little awkward hanging out with other boys. I was into the arts and started playing violin when I was six, so even proper English became something that made me “different” from the other boys.
    I enjoyed my time hanging out with girls, and after some time noticed that I had picked up a lot of the same mannerisms that girls used. This became a huge challenge for me when I entered middle school where right off the bat I was teased as “the gay boy.” I tried to dress and act like the few straight male friends I had, but all of it was see through. I finally started to simply accept that I was effeminate by the time I entered high school and let it shine.
    As I became more comfortable with myself and my evolution, more of my masculine side started to show where friends gay and straight would say to me “Ivan, I don’t think you act gay?!” What my friends were getting was the Ivan who was comfortable with his intelligence, his artistic natured, and cultured demeanor. I would of course have my moments with my gay or girl friends rolling my neck, snapping my fingers and giving a “yaaaz gurl” here and there, but it became more of an expression of my unique individuality.
    Now at 31, I work where I have to answer phones, and let me tell you, these ladies think I am a sexy dark skinned Berry White on some days. Many people who hear my voice…

  23. Rox808 | November 19th, 2014
    +1

    YYYYYYAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!! Hahahaha. I just figured id start out like that. haha. as far as a “gay voice”. Alot of people tell me that “Oh, but u don’t sound gay?” and I’m just like “OK!?” Hahaha. I am guilty of making fun of that voice at my own expense. but sometimes i think some guys do it subconsciously to let people know what team they playing for. But i can admit i used to have kind of a voice that set off gay dars to people, but i can honestly say that alot had to do with the enviroment i was around. Not alot of male friends and only female friends, u do that math. Now im just surrounded by a bunch of str8 guys mostly, and i gotta say, they do some pretty gay shit. haha. and they know im gay and i look at them like “Really!?” haha. but hey all voices are welcomed! Except for Wendy Williams, since she apparently messed up the Aaliyah movie.

  24. Tyron Balthazar | November 26th, 2014
    +1

    I don’t believe there is a set gay tone being that we all are SGL dudes and most all of us wouldn’t say we “sound gay”. I do understand what that means but why do we have to to give that statement legs? I’m a masculine, biracial, educated, New Orleans native whom happens to be SGL all of those identities pepper my lexicon. I think that statement is always judging gay speak against the way Heteros speak as if that’s the measuring stick we all use to identify our masculinity. That’s a bit damaging. That you can’t speak a certain way without judgement or being labeled by your own people is problematic as well. I tend to not judge anyone based on insignificant details. I tend to look at the actions.

    • Rhode
      Rhode | November 26th, 2014
      0

      Thank you for that well thought out balanced comment. Sometimes there is so much self-internalized homophobia on this site, it can be a bit daunting to cut through it. Again, thanks for sharing.

    • Ocky Williams | November 26th, 2014
      0

      When we find fault with asking basic questions concerning the gay lifestyle/culture i.e. “why ask this question”, we can become complacent by not challenging. This is a HUGE problem in the gay community. The minute you question the “rules” and attempt to get to the root of something or see who is behind the curtain within gaydom, insults of homophobia are hurled your way vs actually examining the topic.

      Sorry but Cypher Avenue will continue to question the status quo’s within the gay community. Why shouldn’t we?

      • Rhode
        Rhode | November 27th, 2014
        0

        Yes, you should keep doing it, because you are raising questions that make some of us think. While it is not always possible or desirable to march in lock-step with some of the views on this site, it is still good to be made to think about things rarely if ever discussed in such a forum as this. Thanks for doing your job and leaving the thinking to us. Keep it up.