You have to live under a very un-gay rock to not know the Warwick Rowers. But if you need a refresher: This studly British rowing team poses nude for a very steamy calendar every year to promote equality and inclusion in sports. Great guys, great cause and great, um, well, you know.
Well, now they can add “helping young gays come out” to their list of accomplishments. Australian 17-year old, Angus, recently wrote a letter to the bare boys, telling them:
“Hi, my name’s Angus. I’m a 17yr old Australian who recently came out as gay to his friends and family. I just wanted to say thank you, so very very much for what you guys do. The promo shots of your calendar and some of the pictures were some of the first ever photos of those kind that I saw.
In fact, it was the calendar images that made me realize my attraction and thus homosexuality.
But I think the most powerful aspects of the images are that they show that camaraderie and mateship is still possible when there are accepting people who don’t care about your sexuality. They gave me the realization that when I came out to my friends they wouldn’t treat me any differently, but just like a mate. In fact, the day I came out I put one of the posters on my phone lock screen as motivation to come out.
Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you for what you’re doing, fighting homophobia and giving confused guys like me confidence in their attraction and eventual acceptance. As soon as I get a job I will buy one of the calendars and support this great cause, so hopefully you can keep helping others like me.”
In response to the letter, Warwick Rowers photographer Angus Malcolm (same first name, different person) posted a heartfelt response. Malcolm wrote:
“A young Australian (coincidentally also called Angus) recently wrote to The Warwick Rowers Calendar with this message. I cried when I read it. It captures so absolutely what we have been working to achieve with this project and this calendar, and he so reminds me of who I was at that age.
I didn’t have Angus’s bravery at 17, and I will never know what difference the Warwick Rowers would have made for me. But I am humbled that he feels we made a difference for him.
I went through a lot of pain when I was this kid’s age, and beyond, and everything I have done with Warwick Rowers and Sport Allies has been about taking that pain away from LGBT+ kids today. To receive a message like this makes it all feel more than worthwhile.
So thank you, Angus, 17, from Australia. Your message means a lot to all of us. We’re going to make sure you have a very happy Christmas with the Warwick Rowers!
And anyone else who wants to do something special for someone this Christmas can find us here: warwickrowers.org.”
Well, there you have it. Nothing like washboard abs and tight buns to awaken some latent gayness. Congrats, Angus (the Aussie not the photographer).