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3 - Feminine Boy to Gay Man: a Conversation With Arty Morty
Episode 325th December 2020 • Gender: A Wider Lens Podcast • Stella O'Malley & Sasha Ayad
00:00:00 01:04:23

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Quick Notes:

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 


Arty Morty on Twitter

Arty Morty on YouTube

Rupert Everett on Childhood Dysphoria

The Man Who Would Be Queen by Michael Bailey

Extended Notes

  • 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:

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