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My former boss told me to sound less gay. At that moment it felt just like being back in the school playground with the bullies. I left the job and amplified my "gay" voice to support and inspire LGBTQ+ youth around the world with my book and documentaries. 

Many of us are constantly reminded that some people think we 'sound too gay'. So what on earth is sounding 'gay'? Oh yeah. That's right. It totally depends on the listener. For some it's the too many sibilants, for others, it's the valley girl intonation, for some others, it's the vocal fry and the crisp consonants. And let's not forget the 'guuurl' and the 'yaaass' and the 'queen, please!'.

But really. what is it sounding 'gay'?

"But what about sounding gay? Unlike speech patterns tied to ethnicity, class, or education, it’s not something I picked up automatically since I didn’t really know any gay people growing up. For me at least—and I’m certainly not going to speak for everyone—I sound gay in the same way that I dress like a dork. That is, research in sociolinguistics and linguistic anthropology has found that the way we use language—especially the small variations in things like pronunciation, word choice, how much we do or don’t interrupt someone, etc.—can be as much a part of how we form our social identities as the clothes we wear or the music we listen to."


Some speech patterns tell the listener that we 'belong' to their group, but apparently sounding 'gay' is stigmatized within the fucking gay community! The nerve. I, for one, don't mind a man sounding gay. So what? I think I sound gay. of course regional accents override anything else, but in the pecking order of the gay community the masc for masc crowd really have decided it's not ok to sound 'gay'. Maybe it's because the idea they have of the man that they want to fuck is fixed in their brains? A man for them has to sound 'like a man' and that's it? Do they have a checklist of sound in their head that they have to go through every time they decide they want to fuck someone and if does not check all the boxes it's a no-go?

Sounding 'gay', from my point of view, shouldn't be stigmatized. Why should it be? It's not like it detracts from the man? Is that it? That someone who sounds 'gay' is less-than? Oh. I see. Did you know that once he's sucking your dick it won't matter? If it ruins the fantasy, then I would say it's more on you than on him. Oh, I know the power that a deep, Rocco Steele voice has. That kind of deep, resonant voice does have power. But someone like Riyadhk really doesn't sound THAT gay to me. And it would not 'ruin' anything. But that's just me.

So the next time someone speaks and you immediately think: 'GAY!' check yourself. Stop for a second and think what is it that makes you think that that man is gay. Or that he 'sounds' gay. You may be in for a surprise.



  1. str8 people say: "s/he looks/sounds/walks/talks/acts gay"

    WTF does that even mean?????

    I H8 str8 people that make that statement based on a "perceived
    notion"! just like "all black people are on welfare", "all hispanics are rapists", "all asians are good at math". str8 people need to GROW UP, WAKE UP, EVOLVE OR DIE (preferably the latter and the sooner the better)!

  2. The interesting thing is that the current hookup culture is based on pictures and written words. And fake pictures, more often than not. How often do guys chat IRL before they meet up for the deed (well I know ONE guy that did that...but it worked out ok, I’d say ūüėė). And like you say, once his mouth is on your dick, one moan sounds like another. There is so much more to a person than their speech patterns and their mannerisms. But what the hell do I know, I’m just some old bi-guy.

    XOXO ūüĎ®‍❤️‍ūüíč‍ūüĎ®

  3. It irks me as much as 'Those shoes are gay'or 'That show is gay' or 'That's gay' as an insult.

    People who 'You sound gay' as an insult because if it was true we would all sound the exact same, eh?

  4. You mean, "looks like Tarzan sounds like Jane"? Guuurl you got some issues! Lol. When I heard a recording of my voice I think I sound very gay. Everyone stop saying you don't know what that means... yes you do. I think it's probably a left over from the bad old days, a gay sounding voice could attack attention in a dangerous way, so most guys didn't want that attention and it was thought of as weakness.I used to be like that but I understand now it was my problem. Now I'm often first attracted to a gay sounding voice, helps me find other gay men. Also there are a number of really gay sounding men at work with a wife and children, so it's not always 100%. Honestly from what I get about you in your blog, I think if I met you and you didn't sound gay I would be disappointed... lol!

  5. The same thing can be said about sounding 'too black,' or too southern,' in fact sounding 'too anything.' I work with a white guy, used to be in the Marines, who switches to 'black slang' for lack of a better word, when ever he's around black men. He's being so cool he doesn't realize they're looking at him like 'what is this white boy doing?' He's a nice guy, but I do have to laugh at him sometimes.

  6. We once had a neighbor who was the epitome of "Lyle, The Effeminate Heterosexual". When we first met, he referenced another neighbor on the street where I said the he was easy on the eyes, thinking he was gay. "Lyle", spun around and went home. Ya can't judge a book by its cover.

  7. That (ex-)boss was a fool. He had a guy with a successful radio show and he immediately wanted him to change one of the things that was distinctive about it?

    I don't think most Americans would notice Riyadh "sounding gay" because they'd be too busy noticing him sounding Irish -- and there are people who will give you shit about having a certain accent, too. There's a general pathology about anyone who's noticeably different. We don't have enough real problems, we have to torment other people over trivia.

  8. @annemarie: the ‘perceived notion’ is the weapon lazy people use to pigeonhole everybody they know.
    @bae: that is true. It’s all very superficial and based on mental checklists that do not add to the human nature of the need that leads to the encounter.
    @bob: ahh the old ‘that’s gay’ that the bullies use as an insult. As if it were. And you are right! We would all then sound the same and that does not make sense.
    @steven: yes, there’s internalized homophobia at work there, of course. And not just the atavistic desire of not being attacked. And I work with two of those gay-sounding straights. They trip gaydars left and right.
    @dave: ahh the aold strategy of sounding like minorities. Code switching does not work like that, nope. And the problem of sounding too southern is of a more intellectual bias, as opposed to simple homophobia.
    @jimmy: ha! Hysterical. It’s a mistake that can be easily made.
    @infidel: I thought the same. He now does talks and has a series of queer Britain documentaries on the BBC. And I didn’t notice the ‘gay’ sound. I did notice the cute Irish accent and him being handsome, though.


  9. It never ceases to amaze me, how people draw conclusions, then make insulting comments that mean nothing. What in the world does sounding gay even sound like, and good for you for getting outta there and away from that less than desirable boss. Hugs and Happy Monday to you! RO

    1. I know right? It’s all perception. What’s ‘gay’ for someone it’s not for others!



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