England’s Warwick Rowers is a relatively new sport club that is making its mark with their fine uninhibited athletes who’ve bared all for a full-length video about their Club, their sport and their training. They’ve made a video (for sale) and since 2009 have turned out an entertaining and sexy annual calendar with proceeds going to support Sport Allies, a group dedicated to helping young people affected by homophobia and transphobia.
I’ll leave it up to you to decide who in the Club is straight or Gay. Bottom line (so to speak) is that they’re all supporting a better world for all. This summer they’re hard at work on the upcoming 2015 edition. Don’t miss out on it! Go to www.warwickrowers.org
Here’s their recent letter:
The last year has been a huge one for us at Warwick Rowers, not least thanks to your support.
We were thrilled to be recognized by the UK calendar industry at the National Calendar Awards, an event we both attended in the City of London in February. Our calendar won both Charity Calendar of the Year and People’s Choice Calendar of the Year. It was an exciting and emotional evening for our little project to be up alongside major names like the Pirelli calendar.
More importantly, your support has enabled us to raise around £100,000 for the club and for Sport Allies, our programme to challenge homophobia through sport. We have been working with other students, including representatives of Warwick Pride, the university’s LGBT organisation for students, to set up Sport Allies as an independent registered charity dedicated to young people affected by homophobia or transphobia. Top professional services firm EY (formerly Ernst & Young) spotted the potential of Sport Allies early on, and has also played a crucial role in the charity’s development. You can read more about Sport Allies at the new, dedicated website at sportallies.org.
Now, to celebrate what has been an outstanding year for all of us, we are launching a limited edition print of the 2014 calendar centrefold image of Laurie. The iconic shot is available in three different editions to suit every pocket – from a smaller size in an edition of 500 through to an enormous print in a run of only 100.
What all prints have in common is that they are giclee printed by artisan printers on the highest quality pure cotton paper, and each one is signed by both Laurie and photographer Angus Malcolm. Each print will also be embossed and will come with a certificate of authenticity.
You can find more information about the prints, see a video with Laurie and Angus, and place an order by clicking here.
Everyone who has seen these prints in the “flesh” agrees that they look spectacular, and we want as many people as possible to be able to enjoy this picture. We believe it is a piece of history, and we want to recognize your part in creating that history. As an existing supporter, please use the code ALLY10 to get a 10% discount on the price of any print.
Thank you for your support. It means a lot to us, and we will keep you posted on our news over the coming months.
Hugs and best wishes
Matt and Laurie
As long as we have so-called Christian groups hosting weapons in church (what would Jesus do?), advocating shunning of their own children, promoting violence and even death to fellow human beings who do not meet their preconceived notions, then our larger society will carry a malignant cancer that, if it spreads, will ultimately kill the common body we call America.
Jesus Christ himself never condemned anyone and (as He himself said) that His mission was to come to Earth to proclaim a New Gospel of peace and love. Seems that those who preach peace and love are the ones who fall victim to violence. America should be a place that is inclusive of all, regardless of sexual orientation, race or gender and where everyone is equal. Equal. Period.
Let’s work to weed out violence in thought, word and deed beginning first with ourselves.
After an unexpected absence I’m back for LGBTQ “rush hour”: Pride Month. Gatherings and parades are happening every weekend in June… and beyond. Some festivities are short day events such as in Grand Junction Colorado and Casper, Wyoming while others, like Vancouver British Columbia, last for six weeks where theirs will culminate in a huge parade on August 3rd where over one-half million usually attend. The International Fireworks Festival final show the prior night is not to be missed where the final competitors from around the globe get to send up their best on this last night of spectacular pyrotechnics over English Bay! It’s a show not to be missed… nor is the Parade!
On a calmer note, Denver Colorado’s Gay Pride Festival, 21 and 22 June, sees the center of the city transformed into a street party that draws people from many states. Our friends in Wyoming are looking for plenty of hands to be up early Saturday morning to help build their float and staff their booth. So cowboys and gals, get your chores done and head on down to Denver for a fun weekend and support the fundraising.
Hot desert temps always cool down festivities in Tucson which celebrates Pride in a more moderate Autumn, but, party or no, there’s an important thing for everyone everywhere to do:
June 27th is National HIV Testing Day… everyone has a status and knowing it is the most important first step to keeping you and others safe and well. Put aside any fears, find a clinic in your area and get the confidential test. Most places are free or may only charge a small amount. Knowing is worth its weight in gold. Go for it! Do it! Do it now!
And have a great Pride Month!
It’s New Year’s Day 2014 and one of the first bits of news that popped up are internet rumors that Packers quarterback Aaron Rogers may be Gay. “I’m just going to say that I’m not Gay. I really, really like women.” Rogers reportedly rebutted on his local radio show which then got back on track to the important business at hand: the upcoming game with the 49er’s.
How can a person really respond to such personal questions? One common way is to lie. Denials may range from a shrug of the shoulders, to making a statement, to acquiring a girlfriend to hang on, or doing the ultimate: getting married… to a girl, that is.
Courage on the playing field pales in comparison to the courage to “come out” in a business where virtually everyone expects macho heterosexuality and where full-chested cheerleaders are a necessary accessory supporting the manly myths. Therein lays the problem: most folks can’t get past stereotypes. What’s the root of stereotypes? Ignorance. Plain and simple: ignorance.
I’m not saying Aaron Rogers is or isn’t Gay. It’s not up to him to say if he doesn’t care to. His private life is nobody’s business but his own. The unfortunate parts are, first, that’s it’s made into an issue with some people, and second, it does nothing to help his morale, his concentration or his ability to perform on the field. It is a distraction from the task at hand: playing football and winning if you can.
And it would be good to remember that the game is played by men who are, thankfully, a diverse lot. There are players who sing opera, are math whizzes, or bake cookies. The Green Bay team’s and fans’ only concern should be that Aaron Rogers can pass straight, not that he can pass for straight.
As any year ends ‘looking back’ is on everyone’s menu. So too with Queen Elizabeth’s Christmas Message and her brief nod to baby Prince George. However her introspective message was forward looking and advised that this Holiday Season is a time to ponder our own spiritual growth and to consider where we are headed both as individuals and as people in community with those around us.
Wise words to be sure and especially apropos for myself as this year unfolded and I suddenly found myself in the emergency room of a hospital wondering what happened and why. A few hours of pondering while confined followed by a successful escape realigned my frame of mind and spurred me on through a jumbled and ongoing recoupment. There’s nothing like an unexpected pothole to remind me that my path ain’t as smooth as I thought.
Getting back to business, in November I realized that I’d hitched my wagon to the wrong pony and terminated my relationship with Torquere Press, the house scheduled to release my short novel, Rock Creek Ranch, in January, 2014. I’m currently considering alternatives and am committed to a speedy release with the plot and dialog as originally envisioned and written. I don’t write simply to fill pages. My characters have something to say in their own way. It’s their message and that shouldn’t be stolen from them.
Thank you all for your kind comments and support over the past year. To know that my words impacted you with humor or horror, delight or dismay, gives me sufficient reward.