I really don't care too much for the whole "Nature vs. Nurture" theory. For those of you who don't know what that is, it is a debate between two schools of thought. One says that being gay is based on genetics (nature) and the other says that it is based on the upbringings of the child (nurture). All I know for sure, is that it is not a choice. I tend to go with nature theory, because there is so much evidence to the contrary. I was brought up in a household that consisted of two loving parents, and 1 brother (no sisters). According to "nurture" theory, I should be straight. Scientists believe that male children who are successors to thier siblings (younger children of multiple child households) are often coddled by their mothers and sisters, and therefore more likely to turn out gay. I was the oldest child and I am gay and my brother is not. And he was extremely coddled by my mother, so where does that leave me?
So I started to think. What is one thing, that sticks out like a sore thumb, that lets me know if someone is gay or not? Speech! I'm going to talk about gay men for the rest of this article, only because that is what I am familiar with.
My "gaydar" is not as good as some. Most people tell me they can spot another gay person at 100 paces. I can't. But let them open thier mouths and I could pick em out over the phone. I don't know why I have never seen any studies on this before.
When I was a child, I was sent to a speech thereapist to "cure" me of my speech impediment. I have also heard of many other gay men say that they were sent to speech thereapists too. Gay men have, what I call, a "gay accent". Being a lover of languages and speech, I can detect it anywhere (even if someone is trying to butch it up). I have seen young children with it, and more often than not, I pick up on that too. Hey, I guess it takes one to know one. Do children learn this way of speaking? Did someone tell them, "If you really want to sound gay, I suggest speaking with a lisp"?
Of course, it is more pronounced on some people, than others. My boyfriend and I, are "butchier" than most gay men. After all, I got speech therapy. But for some reason, when I tell new coworkers about my boyfriend, they don't seem the slightest bit surprised. I don't have a limp wrist. As a matter of fact I am quite staunchy and my walk is very "truck-ular" if that is a word.
Think I am wrong? Go to your local gay bar one night and just listen to the patrons talking. When the bartender takes your drink order, listen very closely. Tell me you don't hear something different. Go to a gay neighborhood and sit in the coffee shop and just listen. Can you pick em out? I can! Did they learn how to talk like that? My answer is no. Here's why.
When I was in high school, there were certain boys who got teased for being gay because of the way they talked. They tried very hard to hide it but all in vain. After I turned 21, and started going to gay bars, the same guys, who vehmenently denied thier gayness in high school, were sitting right there next to me, allbeit more comfortable around others of thier own kind. Now if they could hide their speech in high school, why wouldn't they do that?
Comedians and actors portraying gay people, camp it up with thier speech. If you couldn't see the comedien but listened to him/her, you would automatically know, what section of the population they were talking about when they started lisping and drawing out words. The "gay accent" is very distinct.
Being a speaker of German, I can tell you that it is not specific to American culture. When I hear German people speaking thier native tongue, the gay people sound different. Why is that?
If being gay is a choice, then why do gay children often have these speech differences from a very young age? Has someone taught them how to do that? Being coddled by thier mothers caused them to speak that way? It even happens when the child has never met a gay person. They still have this "accent". Enough so to keep speech thereapists in grade schools in business for a long time. I met one of my ex's nephews when he was 10 or 11. I knew it then. Sure as hell...Now that he is in his 20's...there he is sitting in gay bars and chatting up the lads on Myspace! How did I know? He didn't run around in dresses or wear his mother's shoes. I could tell just by listening to him. I leaned over to my ex and said, "THAT one, is going to be FAMILY!"
I don't speak as "gay" as I used to. Being in the army cured me of that. But it's still detectable to other people. I've been speaking that way, before I knew what a penis or vagina was. Hell, I've been doing since before I knew what "gay" was. No one taught me how to do it. I didn't mimick it from anyone else. It just sort of happened. If anyone knows of any studies that are done on this, please give me some links or titles to books so I can read more on this.