We spoke to our NAKED 2018 calendar cover boy and favourite September starlet (apart from Beyoncé, obvs) about body image, theft, seafood and the voices in his head...
m: Hi Fernando. Your hairy chest has been causing quite a stir on social media. Where have you been hiding?
FM: I've been always here really! Although I never thought I'd get a place in today's gay world to be honest.
m: Do you think that this perfect body focus is changing in the media?
We have seen changes, of course, and the ‘bear’ or ‘normal guy’ look has always been around. I’d say six or seven years ago is when we started seeing more things out there about bears and hairy guys feeling comfortable to show how they really are and forget the perfect body stereotype.
m: Would you define yourself as a bear?
FM: I honestly don't know which "label" I am! *laughs.* Some people call me a cub, others a bear or even an otter.
m: We love your body Fernando!
FM: *laughs* I don't love my body but I don't hate it as I did before. I’ve learnt how to be happy and feel comfortable with how I look. There are always changes that I’d make through.
m: How did you become part of the meat calendar?
Adrian asked me a few times if I wanted to be photographed by him and I always said no – my self-esteem held me back.
I then started slowly, posting silly torso pictures on Instagram and Facebook. I had some positive feedback, so when Adrian asked me again during one of the meat parties, I said "why not?" Let's try!
I wasn’t comfortable being naked to start with, but Adrian made me feel comfortable. He said that how I look is the whole concept of meat, so I said "fuck it, let's do it."
m: What kind of guys do you tend to go for?
FM: 90% of the time I go for older than me. Someone that’s funny, with good sense of humour. Someone adventurous like me, that likes to travel and enjoy life. A guy that respects me. Light coloured eyes are my weakness. I LOVE THAT!
m: What gets you excited about living in London? Where do you hang out?
FM: Ah, London is everything! The freedom we all have here, the many different people and cultures we get to know and interact with, the career opportunities, all this diversity of places to eat and nightlife makes London one and if not the best city to live in the whole planet.
Soho is my favourite area to hang out. As I'm Portuguese I can't say no "ever" to seafood dishes, especially at Barriffa on Dean Street.
For drinking, it’s The Duke of Wellington, or Rupert Street. I'm a smoker so I like places where I can drink and smoke outside.
m: What's your most unusual interest?
I have a secret passion for being a voice actor. I want to do voices for cartoons and video games. I basically just make up characters/voices/noises when I'm alone or even with friends.
m: Tell us about one of your characters!
Haha it has been a long time since I stopped that! But I remember a brief part of one of them. Really silly, but anyway… It's about Zai. He was an expert thief, a rogue agent that works for no one but himself. He’s a short, thin man with dark eyes and hair and easily forgetable features. His life changes one day when he becomes the victim of another master thief!
m: Have you ever stolen something?
FM: I have stolen many hearts - does it count? *laughs.* Once. I was 12 and in a novelty shop. I tried to buy a fake ID card that said "Certified Bitch" and the old lady working there condescendingly told me that I was "too little to be buying things with such foul language" so I slipped it in my wallet while pretending to put it back. I then gave this to my sister. She was not happy.
m: It’s the calendar launch party on 8th September at the RVT. Which of the other meat calendar boys are you most excited to meet?
FM: I already know three of the other boys from the calendar. I don't have any special one, although I'm really curious to get to know them.
m: We bet you do. What do you like most about your month, Mr September?
FM: Well, September is the month I was born so that already is a special aspect. But it’s also Beyoncé’s birthday on September 4th *laughs* there are more birthday parties and fewer weddings. It’s time to unpack the sweaters and flannel pajama pants, we all feel cosy and warm. There are the first bonfires of the season, so many things I can't even get an end to it!
If you want to see more of our Fernando, come meet him and some of the other stars of the calendar at the launch party on September 8th at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern (RVT) in London.