Real Men Do Cry

I think we can all agree that Richard Fierro, the man who attacked and stopped the Q nightclub shooter, is a hero.  Without regard to his own safety he tackled the shooter and prevented the further carnage that the gunman was prepared to inflict on the club patrons.  His action clearly exemplified the best of masculinity.  He quickly assessed the situation, came up with a plan and executed the plan disregarding the risk to his personal safety.  Fierro is a retired Army officer who served four deployments to combat areas where he earned 2 bronze stars for bravery.   Simply put be is a real man by anyone’s standards.

In the hours and days post incident his behavior was noteworthy.  He was besieged by the media and responded with poise and dignity.  He also openly and without apology shed tears.  He saw his daughter’s boyfriend’s dead body in addition to be surrounded by dead, wounded and terrified  patrons.  He was filled with emotion and made no effort to suppress his sadness and anger to anyone who listened to his interviews.   He also expressed a positive message of the importance of caring for one another and the destructiveness of hate.  He spoke of the need for love and caring regardless of sexual and gender orientation.  It is a message which he modeled in his attendance at the club that night even though he self identified as a straight male.

By his behavior Fierro sent a message that a man can on one hand act with incredible bravery and then can openly acknowledge the emotional impact of what he had done and seen during the shooting incident.  A brave real man did cry in public without shame.  Let’s abandon the myth that a real man whose actions exemplify the best of masculinity cannot have a healthy emotional life.