Bow Down, Baby

If Mormons Don’t Want a Sexy Calendar, Why Are Models (And Buyers) Lining Up?


“It’s friendly. It doesn’t tear down the beliefs of the church at all. Underneath, it makes people realize, ‘Oh, they’re sexy Mormons. They’re real.” That’s the position Chad Hardy takes when it comes to defending his prize creation: the “Men On A Mission” calendar of hot Mormon guys. As you might expect, this annual glorification of ripped bodies doesn’t sit well with huge swath of the Mormon community. Depicting Mormons as sex objects? OMG NO!%@#%$! (As you also might expect, the calendar sits perfectly well with gay men, even if the guys featured HATE THEIR SOULS.)

Nevermind that.


In its third year, the calendar features a “second coming of Christ” for the 2009 cover. Mormon guys are submitting model applications in droves. And sales couldn’t be, well, hotter.

After being excommunicated from the church last year — officially, it was for other reasons than the calendar — Hardy (pictured, below background) says that same month he received $23,000 in orders after all the press from the scandal, up from a mere $440 the month before. (The church has also kept him from getting a diploma from Brigham Young University, which he left a few credits short, but finished the remaining coursework online.)


But the treat of excommunication doesn’t seem to be dampening interest from beautiful Mormons. Says the LAT:

Several brawny models sprawl in the loft, chatting over blueberry bagels and carrots. Brandon Romain [pictured, above and right], a 23-year-old BYU student, heard about the calendar from friends in Virginia. While working for the College Republican National Committee in Ohio last fall, he e-mailed pictures to Hardy. For weeks, the dark-haired, blue-eyed Romain hit the gym twice a day.

“It takes a lot more preparation for the judgment to come,” he says, anticipating criticism after the calendar is published. He has told only a few friends and his sister that he is posing. Hours before his flight to Las Vegas, he woke up wondering, “Man, should I really do this?”

Mr. September 2009 tries to reassure him. “This wouldn’t be noticed without the controversy,” says Ken Church, a 24-year-old former substitute teacher in Utah who was overwhelmed by the fan mail he received. “Our faces are all over the world.”

Romain likes the idea of shattering stereotypes. “People think we have a bazillion wives and think we’re a cult. They think we’re all Peter Priesthood and Molly Mormon.” Still, he didn’t plan to tell his parents until after the shoot.

“Some people think it’s porn,” says Shawn Perucca, the 27-year-old posing as Captain Moroni, who lives in Los Angeles and was a missionary in Paraguay. But models in Abercrombie & Fitch ads bare more skin, he says with a shrug.

“I’m not going to lie, though,” Romain says. “I kind of don’t want to go back to Provo.”

And because you’re now wondering where you can buy the thing, it’s at the suggestively titled — where not only can you read the bios of all the missionaries on display in the calendar, but you can find them on Facebook! If only the Vatican were this savvy. And interested in homoerotics.

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  • sal

    i always wondered if the guy behind this is gay?cause he was excommunicated not just for this,the calender….can anyone enlighten me?

  • Cam

    He was excommunicated for the Calander alone. The church claimed in a release that it had to do with not being up on tithing, however, one, tons and tons of people are behind on their tithing, and two, when he went in the only questions they asked him were about the Calander and they asked him if he would stop producing it.

    The church is being short sighted and dumb. Their refusla to allow full membership to blacks until nearly 1980 hurt their image, they had just started to get their image cleaned up and now come out foaming at the mouth against gays? Every gay who leaves the church has the chance of taking their family out of the church with them.

  • Joe Q

    I have personally known several practicing Mormons who were gay. One guy even had a partner. I am sure it was all kept quite but in every crowd there’s a homo, hehe

  • sal

    @Cam: oh ,so he’s straight?

  • No To Mormons

    Anyone who is gay and remains in that cult is in need of therapy. I mean, Jesus, look at what they did to this guy:

    Back at Church, the word got out that I was homosexual. I was not longer allowed to be around children, prepare sacraments, or pray though I had done nothing wrong. People became scared of me, and longtime friends refused to associate any longer. The psychiatrist at this point told me to try electroshock therapy. He said in severe cases it was the only way. I refused. The Church excommunicated me at this point.

    They claim they abandoned electroshock therapy in the 1970s, but still….they’re an extremist anti-gay hate cult.

  • Gary

    I saw a calendar of priests in Rome long before the Mormons started this series. Mmmmm, Priestcake…. And duh, there are gay missionaries. I was one. Most just haven’t figured out what they’re going to do about it yet.

  • Helga Von Ornstein

    Younger Mormons are beginning to sound like younger americans of cuban descent in Miami. They are questioning what they have been taught to think and they are no longer following it.

  • John from England(used to be just John but there are other John's)


    Any Mormon that is Black is just so depressing…

  • alan brickman

    mormans can be hot too…

  • enrev

    @alan brickman: Fully agree. Just takes longer to peel off the magic underwear ~ Another ExMo Ho

  • E-Handle

    No. 5 .. I’m sorry for the unfairly short sighted experience you were dealt, but as far as the churches stand point on homosexuality is concerned, you can be gay, and be a member. All members are equally held to the same laws as far as chastity is concerned, and equal opportunity to service. The treatment you’ve faced is quite contrary to LDS doctrines.

  • Jeffree

    @E-Handle: Whoever pays you to defend the LDS against charges of wrongdoing has picked the right person. You speak of policy but don’t dispute what really happens when young LDS people come out to their parents. The blood of those suicide attempts and actual suicides is on the Church’s hands, & every parent who banishes their child for being LGB will have to account for that action to Christ.

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