losing the "gay voice"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Fri Feb 29 05:34:32 UTC 2008

The same also goes for the "white voice."

But, seriously, folks, white people do learn to talk black - and I
don't mean merely a whiggerish fluency in black slang; I mean really
talking the talk - and black people, such as <ahem> your humble
correspondent, do learn to talk white. Back in the bad old days, I
used to have no trouble making hotel reservations over the telephone
that somehow never made it to the front desk.

Since not every gay man has the gay voice (my friend, whom my
speech-therapist friend immediately recognized as having a lateral
lisp, failed to recognize him as gay, which I know only because he
told me, after I kept bugging him, quite an attractive man, about his
adamant refusal to tap any of the female ass available to him), is it
the case that they taught themselves not to use it, a la your humble
correspondent and black voice, or is it the case that they didn't have
it to begin with? If it's the former case, then there's clearly a way
around the problem. Unfortunately, I don't have the Nunberg-like balls
(he once asked me why I don't talk black) to ask my friend why he
doesn't talk gay, I unfortunately have nothing useful to say about
that possibility. But, if it's the latter case, well, Houston, we have
a problem.

If you didn't see tonight's Daily Show, _please do catch tomorrow's re-run_!!!


On 2/28/08, RonButters at aol.com <RonButters at aol.com> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
>  Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>  Poster:       RonButters at AOL.COM
>  Subject:      losing the "gay voice"
>  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>  I should have kept up on the research better, but what I remember is that (a=
>  )=20
>  there seems to be such a thing as "gay voice" in the sense that people are=20
>  able to judge male sexual orientation correctly with some accuracy just from=
>  =20
>  listening to them but (b) nobody knows what it is, i.e., phonological studie=
>  s=20
>  fail to reveal what it is that people are reacting to that allows them to ma=
>  ke=20
>  such judgments correctly.
>  The same goes, as I recall, for the "black voice."
>  I'm not sure how a speech therapist could eliminate something the relevant=20
>  characteristics of which have not been scientifically identified.
>  In a message dated 2/28/08 2:41:46 PM, zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU writes:
>  > i've been corresponding
>  > with a college student who describes himself as tortured by his gay
>  > voice (so he's certainly motivated to learn to "talk straight"), and
>  > who asked about speech therapists in his area, or even (omigod)
>  > surgery.=A0 i explained that there was almost surely no anatomical
>  > source for his speech style, and that perhaps -- big perhaps --
>  > therapists who dealt with "accent reduction" might be helpful.=A0 (i
>  > also forwarded to him a piece by ben munson, at umn, on pathology vs.
>  > social indexing, written for speech-language-pathology folks rather
>  > than for the general public.)
>  >=20
>  > does anyone here know anything about accent reduction programs?=A0 are
>  > they, or at least some of them, effective in teaching speakers of
>  > english as a foreign language to reduce their foreign accents, or in
>  > teaching native speakers to code-switch?
>  >=20
>  > arnold, who knows almost nothing about this world
>  >=20
>  **************
>  Ideas to please picky eaters. Watch video on AOL Living.
>      =20
>  (http://living.aol.com/video/how-to-please-your-picky-eater/rachel-campos-du=
>  ffy/
>  2050827?NCID=3Daolcmp00300000002598)
>  ------------------------------------------------------------
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