The Stories Between US
Matty Dogmoon

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The narrative we’re taught is not the whole story. As Matty went deeper into his education – lived and learned – he discovered within himself deeply rooted ideas about trust, masculinity and intimacy that didn’t align with the community he sought or the man he wanted to be. Find out why he devotes his time to helping himself and others understand that asking and looking for help, as much as giving it, builds community and connection.. Listen now!

Participant Reflections

The Stories Between US
Matty Dogmoon

Each workshop produces a creative participant reflection – a personal take away from the story they just heard – that is voluntarily shared with the wider community.
We believe that personal narratives have the power to connect individuals across socioeconomic boundaries, and that the rich creative ability of our community is the most effective tool we can wield against the stigma that prevents necessary social change.

Featured Artist

The Stories Between US
Matty Dogmoon



I never heard one tender word
From my father. Of my father
I remember the smell of his labour
After a day handling the harvests of others:
Frost and dirt and his own salt dirt
Cloaking him like an omen of

The odour of work never over.

I was afraid to touch him, him
Whose body had made me and
Whose body I belonged to, him
Whose eyes split me down the middle.
I have been riven waiting for a break
In the weather. Waiting for his

Willing a wild animal out of the woods.

There is a whole grove of bristlecones
Growing beside Methuselah. I wonder
With what tenderness did my father talk
To my mother with what tenderness
Did he beg her ear –
How hard to be seen

How thick the cloak.

In the company of men
I carry a terror. I carry it
Like a claw. Let me let go of it,
This weapon made of wounds
With which I unheal my heart.
Let me let go of it, a sun

The work of winter on bodies of water.

Featured Student

The Stories Between US
Matty Dogmoon


Belle White

"I am studying English, Philosophy, and Business at the University of Victoria. I am in my third year and I absolutely love being a student.
I homeschooled almost all of my childhood so when I entered grade 12 and then University, I was excited and looking forward to the future.
I was drawn to English with the goal of finding a profession where I could travel and work so I looked into teaching abroad.
I am passionate about seeing the world and an English major will help me get one step closer to travelling the world to teach people English.
Philosophy came out of a lifelong love of critical thinking and a general curiosity about the world. I wanted to spend my time in school learning how to think and debate, and nothing made me do that more than philosophy.

This past week I heard the story of Matty Dogmoon.

He told us the story of his childhood and growing up and having problems with the stereotypes of masculinity.
He spoke of the trials he faced with creating meaningful connection between him and the men in his life.
Matty really opened up and we all appreciated his honesty and transparency about the struggles he faced with the emotionless masculine stereotypes he encountered.
I related to how men have a need for male friendship that includes open discussion about emotions.
I have been so fortunate to grow up with a dad who has had wonderful guy friends who have helped him through tough times.
We all need open conversation about our feelings and not feel judged for having emotions. It is what makes us human and it is horrible that so many of us feel we need to cover up our sensitivity with a tough exterior and never let anyone in.

That day I took away a greater need to create safe spaces for the people around me, specifically the men in my life, to feel safe to open up and be emotionally honest. Looking into my future as I work towards travelling the world to teach children, I will be much more aware of how young kids and specifically young boys need to be encouraged to share their feelings with their friends and family.
So much can happen when we ask how someone is doing and really listen. We all need a reminder to reach out every once in a while."

Community Ally

The Stories Between US
Matty Dogmoon


Robyn Thomas

What is your occupation / organization that I represent?

I work as a Community Development Manager for the Stigma-Free Society. I present to classrooms and in the community, speaking about mental health and working to end stigma. I am also the lead facilitator for the Society’s Teens2Twenties support group for youth with mental health challenges.

Who's story did you hear?
What was the key theme(s) of the story you heard?

Matty Dogmoon was the speaker I came to hear. The themes that I picked up on were about redefining masculinity, loneliness among men, and the importance of authentic bonds between men. As well, the importance of allies who support the emotional wellbeing of men.

 How does the experience of the storyteller intersect with the work that you do?
What community solutions have you encountered that would support somebody with this experience?

The experience of the storyteller helped me gain a deeper understanding of the stigma that men face in terms of asking for help and in seeking authentic emotional connection with other men. In my work I have spoken to many men dealing with PTSD or other mental health conditions who have experienced a lot of stigma trying to get support for their mental health. I also work with young people and know that many young men struggle with mental health yet feel they have to fit into toxic social standards of masculinity to be accepted. This idea that vulnerability is weakness is pervasive and damaging. I appreciate hearing more perspectives from men who are trying to redefine masculinity, and who speak honestly about the isolation they feel, and this idea that they are supposed to cope on their own.

Our Society has an adult co-ed support group as well as a youth support group that has helped men with mental health challenges over the years. In my presentations I often speak about the myths of masculinity, and share examples of men who show that being vulnerable is courageous and not weak. I also have heard about the Men’s Trauma Centre as one community solution, and Citizen’s Counselling which Matty also talked about.