It’s tough to be masculine #ChangeThePicture

Gaydar Blog

Gaydar Blog
17 November 2017

Today, 19 November, is International Men’s Day and here at Gaydar we’re passionate about ensuring that we join together in making sure men all around the world can live happy, fulfilled lives. But is masculinity the answer?

For some people in our community it is very difficult to be constantly fitting the stereotypical masculine identity.  This makes it hard for some of us to feel good about ourselves.

This is why we admire the new #ChangeThePicture campaign by  Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) which is aimed at challenging restrictive male stereotypes to improve mental health amongst men of all ages.

This week, Gaydar in our Health and Fitness section will show one of 12 real stories that sit behind #ChangeThePicture.  These 12 men share stereotypically masculine photos on social media and then reveal the unexpected and invisible reality behind each image: vulnerability, mental health problems and suicidal feelings.

One of them is former pro footballer and boxer, and current ambassador for CALM, Leon McKenzie. To the outside world he shows us his celebration of a milestone career goal on the pitch surrounded by adoring fans. His reality behind the image was a different story.

calm

McKenzie explains:

“Do you see a man that’s happy in this picture? Full of confidence? On top of the world? Actually I was suffering from depression – feeling sad, lonely and empty inside. I was going through so much off the field but I never showed fans, media, team mates or coaching staff the Leon that was suffering.”

#ChangeThePicture invites everyone to think twice about what you see and in doing so challenge the damaging and unattainable masculine stereotypes we see across social media and beyond.

If you ever feel like you don’t fit into the traditional expectation of masculinity, or you want to find out more you should check out the campaign website at www.thecalmzone.net/changethepicture.

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