A university rowing club received an unlikely letter from a fan when a 17-year-old boy from Australia wrote to thank the club for helping him to accept his homosexuality.
Members of the Warwick University Rowing Club had recently released a naked calendar, which the teenager, known as Angus, said made him realise he was gay.
"They gave me the realisation that when I came out to my friends they wouldn’t treat me any differently, but just like a mate," Angus wrote. "In fact the day I came out I put one of the posters on my phone lock screen as motivation to come out"
He says the photos of the rowers caused him to realise his "attraction and thus homosexuality".
The full letter reads:
"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 realise 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 realisation that when I came out to my friends they wouldn’t treat me any differently, but just like a mate. Infact [sic] 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 the calendar's producer, Angus Malcolm, said: "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."
Last year the club's female version of the calendar caused a stir when Facebook deemed it displayed "explicitly sexual content" and had their page removed from Facebook.