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Does Having a High Voice Make Life Even Harder For Gay Dudes?

Yeah yeah, so Glee‘s Chris Colfer joked that he made Bea Arthur die. But what more notable about this interview is that Colfer’s high voice was discussed. This. is. interesting!

Watching the show, Colfer’s pitch is evident after a single line of dialogue or song. But it’s one of those things that — like his sexuality, apparently — goes undiscussed. Not when Conan O’Brien has a chance to open that door.

Puberty does unfortunate things to our voices, but some men just never develop the baritone speech of their fathers. Indeed, some of these young men turn out to be homosexuals! And for the rest of their lives, when they pick up the phone, the telemarketer asks to speak to the head of the household. Ouch. That can have a disfiguring effect on your psyche, especially when combined with all the other social cues to act more masculine.

Which makes us wonder: For those of you out there with high speaking voices, has it negatively impacted you in life? Are you immediately dubbed gay, even if you’re the most masculine looking jock on the block? Pick an anecdote and share!

By:           editor editor
On:           Dec 3, 2009
Tagged: , , ,
  • 22 Comments
    • Chisne
      Chisne

      I wished I had a high voice. In my early teens, I used to dress up like Barbra Streisand and try to sing “People”, but my mother always said I sounded like Archie Bunker.

      Dec 3, 2009 at 9:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • terrwill
      terrwill

      Am sorry Miss Thang. You set off gaydar early warning systems nationwide as soon as the sperm were joined to create you. Ple

      Dec 3, 2009 at 9:51 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • terrwill
      terrwill

      ….Please Chris don’t make yourself look silly. Your
      own Mother said in an interview she “assumes” you are
      Gay. Please don’t be photographed clean shaven with
      a beard………….

      Dec 3, 2009 at 9:57 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tr
      tr

      I’ve honestly never met a gay guy who has a very high voice. there have always been slightly effeminate voices, but never in the range of Chris. Interestingly the only gays in my highschool choir were in the Bass(IIs)…which is the lowest of the low voices.

      Dec 3, 2009 at 10:33 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • James
      James

      My voice has deepened a bit since my early twenties when I’d still get, “Thank you mam” at the drive-thru speaker or “May I speak with Mr. James…” when answering the telephone, so I can definitely speak to society pressures of speaking more deeply. It’s more of an annoyance now if I still get it rather than a deep psychologically damaging incident, but it’s less of a problem for me obviously as I’ve gotten older. There are other incidents, like when chatting with a hot guy online and then having to do the required first telephone call, I would find myself speaking deeper in the beginning of the conversation if possible early on in the 00s. Usually, my higher voice would come through eventually and if the guy was still interested, the better for me of course. It all takes me back to middle school though, where a friend tried to “help me” by trying to coach me into using a deeper voice. I was supposed to sound more masculine by speaking like a rapper, but it sounded pathetic when coming from a skinny, white kid.

      Dec 3, 2009 at 10:40 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AlwaysGay
      AlwaysGay

      Gay men have the same voice pitch as heterosexual males. The difference is some gay men speak out the front of their mouths (using their tongue and lips often) and fully pronounce words while heterosexual males speak out the back of their mouths, speak quicker and usually do not fully pronounce words.
      http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~cla-acl/2002/Smyth_Rogers_2002.pdf

      Dec 3, 2009 at 11:35 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Garon Anders
      Garon Anders

      I have a very high voice and yes it has made life harder. Going through high school was hell. I have accepted it now.

      My name is Jeffrey and people always say, “That is an interesting name for a girl.” I let it go. What is so difficult is trying to call the bank or a credit card company. With security as tight as it is, I almost always have to walk into a branch to do any banking. Telephone banking is out of the question. Bank employees cannot accept that their is a male on the other line.

      Dec 3, 2009 at 12:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Garon Anders
      Garon Anders

      I have a very high voice and yes it has made life harder. Going through high school was hell. I have accepted it now.

      My name is Jeffrey and people always say, “That is an interesting name for a girl.” I let it go. What is so difficult is trying to call the bank or a credit card company. With security as tight as it is, I almost always have to walk into a branch to do any banking. Telephone banking is out of the question. Bank employees cannot accept that there is a male on the other line.

      Dec 3, 2009 at 12:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tina
      Tina

      How DARE the head of household NOT be a guy. Sigh.

      Dec 3, 2009 at 1:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Yuki
      Yuki

      My extended family used to always confuse me for my mother until at least age 14; it’s a wonder my voice finally dropped.

      Dec 3, 2009 at 1:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Russell
      Russell

      This is slightly different, I guess, but I’m a transfag and, perhaps obviously, have a pretty girlish voice. I’ve only started hormones recently, and though I still get a fair amount of “Russell is an interesting name for a girl”, people have been more likely to read me as a high-voiced twink, especially in gay spaces. So, as frustrating as it can be to be a high-voiced man, y’all have set the precedent in people’s minds to recognize me as a man. So, thanks.

      Dec 3, 2009 at 1:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tara
      Tara

      I WISH I had a higher voice. When identifying as a woman it is SO hard. ::cry::

      Dec 3, 2009 at 2:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • terrwill
      terrwill

      No. 8 ยท Garon Anders: Wern’t you on an episode of Seinfld??
      :-P

      Dec 3, 2009 at 2:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Randy214
      Randy214

      i have a high voice and have noticed it is a major deal breaker for most guys. i’m built and have a face but if i meet a guy online and he wants to talk on the phone they rarely ever want to meet. i have learned that it is more about their insecurities and not about me, but it has been hard coming to terms with gays being so shallow.

      Dec 3, 2009 at 3:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ganymeade
      ganymeade

      yeah, soprano until 21 then sounding 15 years old until 30. Sorry ma’am or are your parents home all the time. Now, I sound like I at least am an adult. I love Colfer’s character-that was me-not only I was as short but even thinner and very androgynous.

      Dec 3, 2009 at 4:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kian
      Kian

      I have damage to my nasal cavities from a surgery when I was 4 that permanently changed my voice. Its really nasally and my voice is already pretty high (it was a soprano until I transitioned, now its a tenor). People always assume I am gay because of my voice (which is accurate) and over the phone I also confuse a lot of people gender-wise. I try to speak lower, but my voice is so effin nasally that I often sound like a cartoon character, particularly if I get excited. I’ve been made fun of more for this trait than any other thing about me. I’m over it now and I can laugh at the jokes… sometimes.

      Dec 3, 2009 at 7:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lee
      Lee

      I enjoy having a high voice because I get to sing tenor in choir, which is simply a wonderful part to sing. I am capable of being a base though my speaking voice is high. Instead, people know I’m gay because being flamboyant is my way of coming out to them. Yes, call me a coward, but dealing with the whole, “Oh yeah, I’m gay” is just too nerve wracking for my tastes, so I just skip it.

      Dec 3, 2009 at 10:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Nick the Australian
      Nick the Australian

      Watching that clip, I’ve just realised: Conan O’Brien has a bit of a high voice too.

      Dec 3, 2009 at 10:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jake
      Jake

      I’ve always had a very deep voice and it throws people the other way, they always assume I must be straight even when I have dropped big hints or been quite open but they haven’t made the connections yet. If I had a more distinguished “tell”, it might be easier coming out to people who already have some inkling.

      Dec 3, 2009 at 11:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Javier
      Javier

      I’m one of those dudes who will lose interest in a guy if he sounds the least bit effeminate, whether it’s pitch of voice or a stereotypically “gay accent.” Sorry, I just like masculine guys. Nothing against dudes that are not otherwise.

      Dec 4, 2009 at 1:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Gigglingfool
      Gigglingfool

      I’ve always had a high speaking voice, not like chris, but till pretty high, i get mistaken for a woman on the phone all the time.

      I never found it debilitating. It’s high, and when i say small phrases like “hello” or “may i ask whose speaking” it can get mistaken for a woman’s voice, but i definitely have a man’s voice, its not that hard to figure out.

      I would always get pissed off when people would i assume i was gay back when i was just coming out, on the basis of my vocal timbre, its applying stereotypes with know foundation to it, do you know what i mean. Like, i wasnt upset they assumed i was gay, i didnt mid that, it was the reason they made that assumption

      i couldn’t really care less now

      i have a high voice, people talk about it a lot but i make it a part of who i am and make it work for me, never against me

      Dec 4, 2009 at 4:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Me
      Me

      I wonder how Chris Colfer is taking all of this. He’s only ninteen years old; at this age you’re still discovering yourself. I hope all of the media and stress doesn’t hurt his confidence or discourage him. He’s a nice kid, and some people can be really nosy.

      Feb 5, 2010 at 12:16 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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