Senior West Hollywood Correspondent, Poppy Fields chats with
STEPHEN MARK LAND, JR.,
creator of the
“REAL MEN WEAR PINK” CALENDAR 2015
I always have “first dibs” on any interview that features scantly clad, well-built men (and I pay a pretty penny bribing Chiffon for it) so I was delighted to have the opportunity to interview the adorable Stephen Mark Land, Jr. about his new calendar for 2015, “Real Men Wear Pink”. Boasting a bevy of male beauties wearing shocking pink, the calendar has a very worthwhile, very needed purpose – to raise money for breast cancer research and treatment.
Stephen took time out of his busy schedule to chat with me recently, and here’s what transpired…
PF: Stephen, thanks so much for talking with me today about the “Real Men Wear Pink” calendar! Sticking to the theme, I wore pink!
SML: Well of course, Poppy, it’s an honor to be here with you today talking about a cause that has touched most of our lives. That pink top is to die for by the way, looks beautiful on you, and those earrings, girl – you’ve got style, that’s for sure. Maybe I need you for our next calendar.
PF: You do, darling, you do! Just ask and I’ll be there! Let me start off by congratulating you on the fantastic work. The calendar seems to be getting a lot of good publicity! Is this the first time you’ve produced a calendar like this, and have you been surprised by the response?
SML: This is my first project of this kind, and the largest I’ve ever produced. “Real Men Wear Pink” has been getting a lot of unexpected attention. I’m not sure that I am surprised by the response; I printed 1000 calendars hoping the response would be what it is and hopefully [it will be] even better after the release party. What I mean when I say “unexpected attention” is the groups, business, and organizations that have jumped on board to be a part of the release party, and that are talking about sponsoring next year’s calendar.
PF: How wonderful that you’ve already got plans for another year! Tell me a little bit about the release party.
SML: The release party will be the main reveal of the calendar. We will have entertainment which includes performances by Chelsea Piers, Sir Honey Davenport, Dimitri Minucci, and our host for the evening, Paige Turner. We will also have a runway show with the models of the calendar. Dj Jonny Mack will be entertaining the house with music all night long. We will also have a silent auction/raffle to raise money for the cause, calendars for sale, and guests will be able to take photos with the models for a small fee and get the photos printed right away.
PF: Now, I know that Breast cancer is a topic very close to you. Can you elaborate on why you were inspired to do this calendar?
SML: Breast cancer is a topic that hits home. In 2010 my grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer and had to go through chemo therapy. I did the walks and shaved my head; anything I could do to show support, it was easier to deal with because I was living closer to home and I could be there to support her. Last year however, my mother was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer and while I live in NYC home is not the easiest to get to. I wanted to #1 show support for my mother #2 raise awareness for the cause and #3 build a funding source to help those who are struggling to pay their bills as a result of breast cancer. The Calendar came to mind one evening while I was falling asleep and everything fell into place from that moment on.
PF: And “Real Men Wear Pink” is really much more then a calendar, yes? You basically have a foundation of sorts, don’t you?
SML: You are correct, “Real Men Wear Pink” has developed from a simple project to raise money to an organization of projects to raise awareness and funding for breast cancer patients that can not afford treatment. Once we are able to finalize paperwork and are officially listed as a 501C3 we will be listed on the American Cancer Society Website as an emergency funding source for Breast Cancer Patients.
PF: Are there any other LGBT organizations specifically raising money for breast cancer? I think it’s great that you’re mobilizing our community for a cause that we might not necessarily associate with the LGBT community.
SML: To my knowledge there are no other LGBT based groups working on or fundraising for breast cancer. I find it to be a shame because breast cancer is a human issue – you don’t have to be male, female, trans or gay or straight. Breast cancer is a human issue that can affect us all. I believe that if we reach out more as a community into other communities we can break down barriers that keep the stereotypes and stigmas alive.
PF: Very true. And speaking of stereotypes, did you have to coax your hunky, hunky, hunky models into wearing flaming pink?
SML: Not at all, we have a diverse group of guys; gay, straight, Latino, white, Asian American, African American, and all of them jumped at the idea of working on this project with me. Most of the models were very open to what ever we wanted them to do from eating pie, covering themselves in whip cream, paint, cooking a turkey, jumping in a pool, mowing lawns, and wearing what ever we put out for them to wear. I believe I got lucky with the 13 most workable models alive.
PF: We have lots of gorgeous boys here on the west coast. Any plans to possibly get models from other cities, and have you heard of Angelyne?
SML: As for the models, if I had the budget I would have had models from the west coast join us on this issue of the calendar. I am originally from Arizona and have worked as a dancer all over the west coast – LA, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Vegas and Phoenix – and I know a lot of the hot boys you’re talking about. If we can get some sponsors for next year, having models from all over the U.S. Would be amazing. As far as Miss Angelyne, I have heard of her, and while researching pink and the gay community to find out of there was already an organization like mine in existence, I found quite a few stories and photos on Angelyne.
PF: Yes, well…on any given Friday or Saturday night you can find her pink corvette parked in front of The Coffee Bean here in WeHo, so if you need her, I know where to find her. She sells t-shirts out of her trunk, incidentally. But I digress. How do you feel about this endeavor over all, and what would you like to see happen in the future for “Real Men Wear Pink”?
SML: Over all this project has been so rewarding in so many different ways, from the people I have been able to meet and work with to the support we have received from all over the world. In just one month we have generated over 50,000 views on our website from over 13 countries. We have over 3 dozen retail orders, 50 orders for Aspen Gay Ski Week, and over 100 personal orders that have us right on track to selling all 1000 calendars.
PF: That’s fantastic! Is there anything else you’d like for our readers to know… Where they can go to purchase, Dante, find out about the release party?
SML: RealMenWearPinkCalendar.com is our website. There, you can read about our models and the team that put this project together; get updates on our upcoming events; and you can also donate, purchase merchandise, and if you know anyone in need of funding they can apply for funding there as well.
PF: Fabulous! Well, thank you once again for your time, and all our best wishes for a big success with the calendar, the party, and the charity!
To learn more about the “Real Men Wear Pink” calendar and charitable organization, please visit www.realmenwearpinkcalendar.com.
Real Men Wear Pink 2015 Official Calendar Release Party – October 22, 2014
Shadow Boxers NY (40th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues)
6:00PM – 9:00PM