A pair of gay, fifth-generation farmers have gone naked to raise awareness around the mental health of Australian farmers.
Kerry and Paul Wilson were approached by The Naked Farmer—a social media page curated by Victorian farmer Ben Brooksby that draws attention to rural mental health—to get involved with the movement, and cautiously agreed, according to the ABC.
“It’s been quite a journey, to the point where I left a wife and three sons to become openly gay in the dairy industry,” Kerry said.
“It was horrible – at one stage we thought, okay, we’ll just go to Brisbane and start a new life in the city, an anonymous life. But it was a fleeting thought. It wasn’t an option because I had three sons.
“So we’ve have our fair share of ups and downs and the agricultural industry is a tough gig.”
The couple said they hope that by going nude they might be able to become the role models they didn’t have growing up.
“If there’s normal, average, mainstream people out there that happen to be gay, and some kid in the bush sees that person or that couple and thinks, ‘Oh yeah, that’s me,’ then we’ve done our job,” Paul said.
Brooksby started the Naked Farmer as an Instagram page last year before expanding it to include a calendar and underwear line.
He said it was borne out of his personal struggle with chronic anxiety.
“If you scroll through social media and see a tractor, you’re probably going to keep scrolling,” he said.
“But if you see a photo of a tractor and somebody naked in front of it, you’re going to stop and take note and take note of the caption.
“Mental health is a massive thing to me. I thought, I can really help out here, so that’s when I teamed up with the Royal Flying Doctor Service and did a calendar.”