Matty Healy says he was bullied as a teenager for “looking like a poofta”.
The British performer – who currently fronts pop/rock band The 1975 – opened up about his childhood, “art, sex, drugs, religion” and toxic masculinity in an interview for GQ Hype.
When asked about masculinity, he told the publication: “Of course, masculinity’s changed, but maybe I’m fortunate or privileged to have not been that interested in it.
“I did get slapped about a bit in Manchester for having long hair and looking like a poofta when I was a teenager, but who didn’t get stuff for being slightly different?
“It’s like I’ve never been interested in masculinity as an idea because I’ve never been fearful of it.”
Matty continued: “Maybe it’s the duality of my dad being a working-class welder who graduated into being an actor and a more bohemian character.
“He was a working-class lad. I was witness to the masculinity and that role model in my life, but all his mates were gay and liberal and of colour. I’m lucky to have never really been a witness to that much prejudice.”
Read Matty’s full interview with GQ Hype here.
Back in November, the 29-year-old revealed that he’s kissed men in the past, but iterated that he doesn’t have “carnal, sexual feelings” towards the same sex.
In an interview with Shortlist Magazine, he said: “The other sex is still attractive. It’s just that sex is weird, isn’t it? Do you know what I mean? It’s like, ‘Do I want to do blow jobs with a guy?’ No. Do I want to a kiss a guy? Yeah, kind of…”
Matty recalled seeing two male dancers kissing backstage at a show, and elaborated on how it shaped his own experiences.
“The first passionate kiss I saw was between two blokes,” he admitted. “I remember it vividly.”
After he witnessed it, he craved that kind of intimacy. “It was an erotic and sexual presentation to do in front of a child, now I think of it,” he explained further.
“I just saw it as sexy. As a kid, if you see two grown-ups kiss properly, you’re a bit like: ‘What’s that? What’s that feeling? I didn’t know we did that with each other.’
“I think my perceived ideas of masculinity stem from my first idea of sexuality. Well, you can look at whether sexuality is a social construct – which, of course, it isn’t.
“But when I was a kid most of the people [around me] who were successful and doing what they wanted to do were gay.”
Matty looked up to them because they were people who “were truly themselves”, and said he associated that freedom of self with “freedom of expression”.
He added: “I’ve thought: ‘Maybe it’s unusual to be as flamboyant as I am, or unusual to be as in the gay world as I am…
“What does that mean? Am I a bit gay?’ And then I was, like, ‘No, that’s not how it works! It comes down to who you want to fuck.”
The 1975’s highly-anticipated fourth studio album, Notes on a Conditional Form, is due for release this May.