Arty Morty* found it very difficult to grow up as a feminine boy amongst his peers. In this episode he explains how difficulties in his social and family life shaped his identity development. Ultimately, he came to accept himself as a gay man and he touches upon the new concept of gender identity and how it might have impacted his identity had he been a teen today.
*Arty Morty is a pseudonym
- Who is Arty and how has gender touched his life?
- Arty has always been a feminine boy growing up. He grew up with his mother and his sister.
- Arty remembers one of his very first memories (at the age of 2) was him wanting to be one of Charlie's Angels.
- Arty’s father was in the army and he died. This made his mother very opposed to weapons and violence.
- When Arty went to school, his feminine nature became a huge problem. The children thought he had AIDS.
- When Arty’s family moved to a smaller town, the bullying got much worse. Not only was he a sissy boy, but he was a city nerd.
- Male figures frighten Arty. They were too rough and always wanted to fight. Arty had a lot more fun by having female friendships.
- Arty would have a fun time playing one-on-one with boys, but the moment another one showed up, they had to reject him and take on a more masculine role.
- Were there any other boys in Arty’s group that are now gay?
- Because Canada is such a hockey country, which is very violent in itself, a lot of the men Arty grew up with thought this behavior was normal.
- It’s the Canadian identity to watch people beat each other up.
- Arty was getting teased, bullied, and beat up regularly at school. He had enough. He ran away from home at 15.
- You see in the media how men act a certain way. Arty knew he would never be one of those guys. He knew that the world had no place for him.
- No matter how much gay acceptance there is in the world, it will always be hard for a teenage boy trying to find his way.
- People say being gay is an identity. It’s not. It’s a physiological reaction.
- There still isn’t proper representation in the media. Yes, there might be gay characters, but they’re a trope and not a real representation of gay people.
- Are gay men attracted to masculine traits?
- Some gay men have a total rejection of gay culture. Arty explains a little bit about the gay ghettos you’d find in cities back in the ’90s.
- There’s a lot of ambivalence when you discover there’s something different about you.
- When did Arty come to terms with his sexuality?
- If Arty was 15 today, how would he feel about coming out today?
- In today’s climate, Arty would identify as trans if he could at that age. He would have wanted to undergo a sex change, but he’s glad he has the body he has today.
- Not all feminine boys become attracted to the same sex.
- Although being gay has been decriminalized, it still feels like we’re living in the early days.
- How should parents react or best approach their child’s gender nonconformity?
- Finding yourself is hard. It’s part of being human.
This podcast is partially sponsored by ReIME, Rethink Identity Medicine Ethics:
Learn more about our show: Linktr.ee/WiderLensPod