Do I Sound Gay?: An Interview with David Thorpe
Jul 26, 2015 by Kristin Morris on The Nickelodeon Blog
Kristin Morris: We are looking forward to screening your documentary and giving the Columbia community the opportunity to discuss the film with you. Do you think we’ll have a different conversation here at The Nick than the ones you’re having while you’re traveling with the film all over the country?
David Thorpe: That’s a great question! I hope it will be somewhat different because the film addresses the homophobia I experienced growing up in Columbia in the ’80s. On the other hand, I’m guessing audiences at The Nick will have many of the same questions any audience would have. Sounding “Southern” always comes up at screenings in the South.
KM: The premise of Do I Sound Gay? resonates with so many people. You had great success with crowdfunding a large portion of the film and had so many people who were willing to be a part of the project. How did this project begin and were you surprised at all at the response you had?
David Thorpe: I started the film after I got dumped! Which provoked a major fit of insecurity and soul-searching. My goal was always to tell a story that anyone could relate to—we all struggle to be ourselves on a daily basis. Sometimes that struggle is big and obvious and easy to see and sometimes it kind of insidiously seeps into unexpected things, like how you sound. I’m not exactly surprised that a lot of people relate to the film. Maybe I’m more surprised—and very happy—that as a first time filmmaker I was able to reach them.
KM: What are you most looking forward to during your visit back to Columbia?
David Thorpe: Another good question! The Nick was a lifesaver for me growing up. I’ll never forget seeing The Life and Times of Harvey Milk in the ‘80s. Since I was a teen struggling with being gay, it totally terrified me! But deep down it also gave me the hope I needed to hang in there. I also saw Sherman’s March at the Nick which paved the way for personal docs like Do I Sound Gay? I feel lucky to be able to come back to a place that gave me so much as person and as a filmmaker and say thank you. And maybe contribute to LGBT visibility in Columbia at the same time.
KM: Have you decided on your next project?
David Thorpe: Yes! But it’s top secret.