Much has been written about the subject before, there was even a documentary in 2015 by the filmmaker David Thorpe titled “Do I Sound Gay?”
Today, another person has a theory about “the gay voice” and it involves Dolly Parton. According to this Instagram page called thisisgayscience:
This is Gay Science. In today’s episode, why do gay men talk like that? The gay voice. You can recognize it instantly.
But what’s the science behind this distinct vocal effect?
Because they often congregate in earthquake zones, gay men harness a lot of energy. Excess energy that isn’t spent relaying local drama passes to the vocal cords to initiate a high frequency vibration. It’s a pitch that all people can hear, but only gay men and Dolly Parton can understand. Sometimes these high-pitched sounds pass through the mouth into a lisp caused by phagata dentata. This variety of gay voice is an elite form of communication, like echolocation in dolphins, and can throw sounds up to 10,000 miles away. Unfortunately, all men are bad listeners, so these messages are lost on them and are received exclusively by Dolly Parton, and are received exclusively by Dolly Parton, who’s been quietly managing the chaos of hearing the voice of every gay man for decades.
Of course, the netizens got their two cents in as well. An Instagram user called omidoninsta said: “The real reason: gay men with an effeminate voice typically grow up with a stronger female presence in their childhood. As they naturally resonate more with the female experience, they start mimicking their voice and behavior as kids do, and there you have it, gay voice.” While another user named stard0ski said, “You only notice the gay men who have that voice. Gay men who just happen to not speak like that are less visible. People just rak the way they do as individuals, but are more or less visible depending on the social mores of the time.”
But what does it mean to have “a gay voice?” Previous studies, as cited by LGBTQ Nation, mentioned the following as “voice characteristics associated with gay men” and we quote: “a higher pitch, wider pitch range, longer vowels, expanded vowel space, and more precise pronunciation.”
Meanwhile, a study published in March 2023 titled “Can Listeners Detect if a Man Is Bisexual from His Voice Alone?” aimed to determine if “bisexual men’s voices differ from gay and straight men’s voices with regard to perceived masculinity-femininity – nor whether listeners can identify a bisexual man based only on his voice.”
The study found that people can’t tell whether a man is bisexual from his voice alone; instead, the respondents “usually decide that the bisexual man has the most masculine voice.”