Next year’s Red Hot American Boys calendar is out, shot on location at LA’s Muscle Beach by photographer Thomas Knights, with art direction from Elliott James Frieze.
Now its sixth year, the Red Hot concept has evolved to include multiple calendars, touring exhibitions and events.
‘I set about creating ginger male role models’
Explaining it came to be, and reflecting on his adolescence, Thomas told Gay Star News: ‘Growing up there were no ginger male role models. This was before Prince Harry became a sex symbol and Ed Sheeran came along.’
He furthermore explained how he feels ‘ginger guys were portrayed in TV and film as ugly and weak. As the undesirable character. Never the leading man, the hero or the heart-throb.
‘It seemed interesting to me, however, that the opposite was true for ginger women.
‘There seemed to be this double standard’
‘Often, women with red hair were portrayed as the “ultimate” woman. Think Jessica Rabbit, or the vast number of scarlet-haired female leading actors in Hollywood.’
‘There seemed to be this double standard,’ Thomas also added. ‘So I set about creating ginger male role models, portraying them in the pictures like alpha male super heroes.’
The project will raise money for Athlete Ally, an organization committed to equal access/opportunity/experience in sport regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.