The official Gala Partee celebrate the end of Movember. I attended my first Movember gala in Toronto. Instead of dressing to suit my Mo Bro, I wore a Charlie Chaplin outfit. The gala partees are a curious thing! On the one hand its an amazing opportunity to meet up with other people who have also participated in the Movember journey. On the other hand, the costumes tend to reveal a performance of machismo, which typically evokes the stereotypical notions of masculinity done in a humourous way. The typical “the moustache made me do it.”
Looking back on the 30 days of Movember, I hope that the moustache has served as a ribbon for prostate cancer, men’s mental health, and men’s health more broadly. Hopefully, the moustache has opened up conversations with strangers, lead men to the doctor for a checkup, allowed women to actively participate in changing the face of men’s health, weakened the stigma of illness, raised money for a worthy cause, and finally heightened awareness.
Like a good moustache, the evolution of Movember as a philanthropic organizing is taking shape. This Movember over $112 million has been raised! Researchers can continue to do important research with these funds as well as fund various initiatives. However, just because an organization is raising money for a worthy cause is no reason not to want to push the campaign further to be more inclusive, meaningful, and effective for all people.
This year, I have tried to open the conversation to involve more women. A BIG THANK YOU to every single person who participated in my campaign by opening their hearts and minds to talk to me. Despite my trepidation of having conversations with complete strangers, I have learned that people want to tell thier story, all of us are touched by men’s health, and the power of conversation. I encourage you to have those difficult conversations with loved ones and complete strangers because you will be surprised at how amazing each person is. Just as importantly, I have learned so much about myself. Just because the moustaches are gone, the conversations can continue…’mo on!