Community Flags: Leather Boy/Boi

Boy Pride (or Boi Pride) flag is meant to represent Boys/Bois, a sub-group of the leather culture. The word originally denoted younger and submissive gay men, often newcomers to the community, with an appreciation for older and dominant men (these being called Sirs, Masters or Daddys). In time, it has become a beacon for anyone who identifies as a leather boy/boi, no matter the duration of time spent in the community.

The whole design obviously reflects the original use of  the word “boy/boi”, even though it seems to have little in common with its present-day use as the basis for logos of some leathermen clubs which use the phrase “boys of leather” in their name.

The original design by Keith Pollanen was based off of Tony Deblases’ Leather Pride flag; it retains the original’s equal number of stripes, but they are diagonal from left to right, with the left higher symbolizing the Sir, and the right lower representing the boy. The heart was moved to the right to show where the boy’s heart is, and the blue was replaced with green to represent the boys/bois as newbies or greenhorns. The size of heart might vary according to presented images, however the flag appears to be designed with the heart overlapping only 2 of the bars.

Roughly 3 feet by 5 feet, the first ever physical Leatherboy Pride flag was created in January 2000 by Robert Dogan. Robert had excellent sewing skills, and Keith called on him to assist in making the flag so that DCBOL could carry it in the DC Pride Parade. It took 6 hours and looked like what a 10 year old could have done in 15 minutes, but it is a grand flag.  Later that year it was donated to the Leather Archives and Museum, where it still is today.

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