A powerful video dealing with toxic masculinity and the importance of mental health for men has been released. Written, directed and performed by Joe Byrne, Big Boys Don’t Cry is created in response to the fact that in Ireland and the UK alone it has been estimated that in 2015 there were 6,639 suicides, of those 4,997 were males.
The video talks about the pressure on men from childhood to hold in their emotions or else face ridicule, to pretend to be something they are not in order to be accepted. It speaks about toxic masculinity and the myth that “apparently, feelings are for gays and women”. It says how young boys are being pushed into being men straight away without even being given the tools to navigate life.
“Hundreds of us are dying every single year, locked in our rooms, isolated from the world, afraid of being judged,” Joe says in the powerful piece. Big boys don’t cry? Joe counters: “Yes, we do.”
In an upsettingly linked event, GCN reported on the fact that ironically two of the men pictured in the video were subject to homophobic abuse during the actual making of a video on toxic masculinity.
Fair City actor Rodrigo Ternevoy and ex-GCN staffer Aidan Quigley filmed a scene where both men held hands in the laneway beside The George club in Dublin.
While the scene was being shot, a passing man shouted: “You fucking faggots! This is a Catholic country, fucking faggots!”
Creator of the video, Joe Byrne, said of the event: “It’s the first time I’ve witnessed it. It actually made me feel a little bit sick in my stomach, and a little bit angry about how close-minded that person that is. I’m still trying to process it.”
All of which goes to show, Big Boys Don’t Cry could not have come at a better time.
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