People online are cheering comedian and TV presenter Ross Mathews for how he handled a Twitter troll who accused him of faking his "gay voice."
Mathews, who is openly gay, is known for his adventurous fashions and his flamboyant personality. But for one would-be Twitter bully, none of it rings true.
The troll accused Mathews' of choosing the voice and implied his voice was not normal.
The troll posted with a creative use of punctuation:
"Question ,,,,, At what age did you start using the 'gay voice' ?"
"Because that is NOT the voice you were born with."
"Why do you need to speak gay ?? It’s so fake."
"Can’t you be gay and still speak normal. ?"
Mathews wasn't having a word of it.
He shut the tweeter down with a response that left people applauding.
"This is my voice. Always has been. Always will be."
"I hated my voice growing up because people like you would judge it."
"Now I’m empowered by it."
"My voice is my voice. And it’s gay. ❤️ 💪"
First of all, how would this troll know what voice anyone was born with?
Most newborns take a few months before they speak. Most people go through changes in their voice throughout their lives because of puberty, aging and environmental or health factors.
And who says it's fake? What is normal?
It was one heck of a tweet, that's for sure.
But Mathews barely bothered engaging the troll on any of those questions. Instead, he perfectly explained why his tweet is so cruel, wrong and unnecessary.
After all, that "gay" voice got him to be something of a household name among TV presenters, so you can certainly do a lot worse.
Criticisms about the "gay voice" have been leveled at gay men for years, and are frequently the target of bullying during childhood that leads to internalized homophobia.
The phenomenon is so prevalent that a gay man made a documentary about it in 2014, featuring gay icons like Dan Savage, David Sedaris, Tim Gunn, and George Takei.
On Twitter, people applauded Mathews for overcoming this experience shared by all too many gay men.
The moral of the story is, there's no right or wrong way to be gay--and don't let anyone ever tell you otherwise.