What do hot Orthodox priests, guys who don’t tan and university rowers have in common? They’re all producing amazing gay calendars with a cause.
Calendars with a cause have been around for a good few years (hot firefighters, anyone?) but it seems that they’re really taking off now. And why wouldn’t they? In an increasingly digital, disposable world, a physical, printed-on-paper calendar has a kind of nostalgic, feel-good quality about it.
The humble calendar has had quite a journey. It’s gone from being something so commonplace and backgroundy, to being made almost obsolete by technology, to making a counter-cultural resurgence in recent years. Nowadays, there’s a gluttony of calendars hitting the market at this time of year.
Here, I’ve chosen four you might like to consider. The only criteria? They have to raise proceeds for a good cause. If they do it in a sexy, thought provoking or even shocking way (with the help of pounds of hot male flesh), well – all the better!
Category is: P.I.L.F Realness
The Orthodox Calendar has been around since 2012. It’s a series of calendars featuring nude and semi-nude photographs of members of the Orthodox Church.
Now I’ll be honest, my first thought when I heard about this calendar was, hmm, is mixing religion and overt sexuality really such a great idea? But the concept behind the calendars is an amazing one.
The primary goal was to create the very first organised global effort against homophobia in the Orthodox Region. At the same time, the calendar takes an ironic approach to the Orthodox Church itself, which in recent years has been embroiled in artist repression, questionable behaviour and homophobia.
Through their unconventional and bold images, OC’s creative team seeks to counteract the negative and outdated influences of most of the Orthodox Church leadership. While recognising that change might not come quickly to the official Orthodox Church position, OC nonetheless believes that at least it can encourage people (believers or not) to reflect and realise that there is an urgent need for an update in values as part of the modern society.
Pretty damn cool, right?
Which leads me to asking a question I’d never thought I’d hear myself ask:
Wanna see some sexy priests?
Category is: Fun Without The Sun (Damage)
Lots of gay guys love a tan. But did you know that a tan is actually a sign of sun damage? Yep, scary but true. The increase in skin pigment, called melanin, which causes the colour change in your skin, is a sign of damage to the skin. Ouch!
On top of that, here in Australia, skin cancer is a very real issue. Two out of three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the time they reach 70.
These very real and scary facts, along with his partner’s mum Liz, passing away after a brave battle with melanoma, led James to create the SKIN Calendar. As he explains:
“After noticing more and more people on Instagram posting photos of their tan or sunburn, I realised how complacent we have become to the dangers of sun damage.
But here is the grizzly reality: in Australia, skin cancers make up approximately 80% of newly diagnosed cancers each year. This makes the rate of skin cancer occurrence in Australia one of the highest in the world.”
The SKIN Calendar aims to change perceptions of what we consider sexy. Natural skin tones not only look great, but they’re also 100& natural and healthy. What could be sexier than that?
Since there is no cure for melanoma, funding skin cancer research is really important. 100% of the profits from calendar sales go to funding skin cancer research in Australia. In 2016, the fundraising target is $5000.
Here are some behind the scenes shots from the SKIN Calendar:
Category Is: Row, Row, Row Your Boat
The Warwick Rowers (yes, they’re a real rowing team) were actually founded back in 1966. On the verge of top tier status in British rowing, the calendar began in 2009 as a way of rowing students funding what is a very expensive sport.
Due to its tremendous success, the Warwick Rowers calendar now also raises funds for a number of charities, including LGBT charities in the UK.
The money raised is divided between production costs, supporting the club in its sporting activity, and supporting good causes. More than half of the money paid for a calendar goes directly to either the rowing programme or to the newly formed Sport Allies programme challenging homophobia.
Sport Allies was born out of the Warwick Rowers calendar project, and the relationship that It has enabled between a bunch of (mainly!) straight jocks and the gay community.
Sport Allies has a number of goals, including to:
- Deliver an outreach programme to local schools, challenging homophobia and seeking to make sport more accessible to all.
- Establish a replicable model for all university sports clubs to become more diverse and inclusive, and undertake community outreach work to promote inclusion to young people.
- Develop and produce viral content to encourage young people who need advice about their sexuality to call a national helpline in the UK or visit a website which will list similar international resources.
Check out the Warwick Rowers 2017 crowdfunding video