No, I don't have any particular reason to cry right now. I just want to be able to cry.
You see, growing up, I quickly learned that certain behaviors caused other boys to pick on me. As a result, I convinced myself that boys don't cry. As I grew into adulthood, in an effort appear "normal", boys don't cry evolved into real men don't cry. Intellectually I know that isn't true - Over the years, especially since I've been in the church, I've seen lots of men, real men, cry. But, I've been suppressing my emotions for so long that it's second nature to me now. I can't even cry if I want to.
My mother died a year and a half ago after a long battle with cancer. At her funeral, I felt the saddest I ever remember feeling - but I still would not let myself cry. My father was crying, my brothers and sisters were crying, my nieces and nephews were crying, other people who knew and loved my mother were crying. It was difficult to not cry; I couldn't look at other people who were crying. But, I refused to allow myself to cry. I felt that I would be losing control if I cried - because real men don't cry.
I don't know why, but since I accepted my gayness a few months ago, I've felt the urge to cry more often than usual. Sometimes out of sadness, but mostly when I've felt particularly moved. Just last Sunday, we sang "I know that my Redeemer Lives" as our closing hymn and I felt the urge to cry during the hymn. But then my automatic defense mechanisms kicked in and I suppressed the feeling and fought back the tears.
So, how does a middle aged closeted gay man learn to let go? How does he learn to cry?