“There’s a fun tradition that I do – have you heard #Movember? It involves growing a mustache throughout November and then auctioning the removal of said mustache at the end of the month. All donations go to a charity dealing with prostate and testicular cancer and men’s mental health. In Spain, I’d invite more than 40 people to a ‘shaving off party,’ we would cook and eat and drink – and then at the end of the party, I’d shave off the mustache in front of everyone.

I’ve been playing rugby since I was 10. I grew up in macho rugby culture. In my teenage years, I remember making misogynistic and homophobic comments – making fun of gay people was normal. I grew up and realized that even straight white males like me are under a lot of pressure trying to fit in the mold, which is so hard to achieve. We must be successful, be leaders, and not talk too much about our emotions.

Many men where I come from don’t talk about their feelings. They like to joke around, but nobody talks when they lose their job or get sick or something serious like that. Unlike girls, we don’t say that we care about or miss each other. This could be the reason why suicide rates among men in my country are high, as well as domestic violence. So I’ve joined #Movember to make people listen more to men’s mental health.

Dario, a rugby player neighbor

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