|BOOK OF WHOA!: Elder “Matthew” in the 2008 Men on a Mission calendar.|
Mormon men are hot. And, oddly enough, a little bit gay.
I’ve thought this ever since I was an Episcopalian kid growing up in Burbank, Wash. In my small town, where God’s “chosen people” were Mormon, not Jewish, it was an easy thing to believe. That’s because most of the Mormon guys I knew were not only cute, but earnest, well-dressed and polite—traits needed to build almost any homo in the ’70s.
I hold fast to this belief to this day every time I see a photo of presidential candidate Mitt Romney or Oregon’s own Sen. Gordon Smith. It doesn’t take much to make me wonder what these Mormon men might look like in their hot, holy underwear, making a man-on-man meat sammie.
Recently the Las Vegas-based Mormons Exposed publishing company sent me a Men on a Mission calendar. At first, I thought it was a joke. That’s because this beefcake-packed pectorial salaciously sacrifices young men, still wet from their missions, at the altar of wankerdom just so gay guys and women can gawk at them sans short-sleeved shirts, bad ties and name tags.
I knew a few guys from school who went on their two-year missions. But my first real exposure to the door-to-door bicycling “soldiers” in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints army was after school. That’s when I followed my friend, Mimi, all the way to the land of Donny&Marie (a.k.a. Provo, Utah) so I could hang out with her (and them) at Brigham Young University. I don’t know what the hell I was doing there, but I think I was secretly attracted to the missionaries’ mix of repressed sexuality, bicycle sweat and complete devotion to Christ. Like Catholic priests, they were a secret society of men who lived with other men—and never talked about it. Hmmm.
According to the calendar’s creator, Chad Hardy, this “devout dozen” year planner is supposed to debunk Mormon stereotypes. But it does quite the opposite, because nobody looks as good as these Stepford-wifeish “elders.” Take Mr. September, “Austin.” His biography claims he was treated like a “rock star” on his mission to the Philippines. And, why wouldn’t he be? With his ample, airbrushed nipples he looks like he belongs more in a boy band than the jungle. The same goes for the month of July’s “Brandon,” who looks much better suited to baring his testicles in gay porn than bearing his testimony in this timely day-keeper.
Hardy says, “Whether you love, hate, or are indifferent to Mormons you can appreciate this project for what it represents.” Which, as far as I can tell, is to show us what white guys look like nearly naked. But who does he think he’s kidding? Although Hardy’s intentions may be sincere—to show us what Mormons look like when they are truly exposed—all I think it does is expose the world to a few of the men dedicated to one of the most perplexing religions of all time. How hot is that?
GET IT: Men on a Mission 2008 is available at mormonsexposed.com and at Calendar Club kiosks in Portland-area malls.