International Boylove Day
|20 June 2024
|‡22 June 2024
|21 December 2024
|‡21 December 2024
International Boylove Day, commonly referred to as IBLD, is celebrated by many boylovers in the online boylove community. The celebrations began in 1998 with participants from Free Spirits and SafeHaven and is now being observed by most of the online BL communities from the various boards and sites. It is a day for boylovers to come together in solidarity, a day to send our message to the world, and a day for remembrance. IBLD falls on the summer and winter solstices but in recent years is also commonly observed on the following Saturday in June and the proceeding Saturday in December.
The originally suggested way of observing IBLD was to leave a small blue candle in a window or a public place with a small note explaining why the candle was there. Sending anonymous notes to local newspapers was also a popularly suggested activity.
Aside from these activities, IBLD has always been a day to celebrate in personal ways. Many boylovers get together with their young friends or with other BLs for some special activity. Others spend the day online with friends, or write poems or stories. Many take the time to light a blue candle in public or in private. Others reflect on past BL friends and the boys who were once in their lives, or who are presently in their lives.
Another popular suggestion for the winter solstice was to donate boy's toys to underprivileged boys or make other similar charitable donations. There is no absolute right way to observe IBLD, as long as it is meaningful to you.
In some places, boylovers use the day to meet up and celebrate together or have small parties (a.k.a an IBLD Symposium). In the Netherlands, 50 boylovers met up at a tavern for the 2005 observance, which was a huge record.
Calculating the date
International Boylove Day is traditionally held on the summer and winter solstice. However, many boylovers prefer to observe the day on a Saturday. This has lead to criticism that there are to many possible days. However IBLD itself is still only the two solstice days, the Saturday dates are simply for convenience for those who are unable to observe IBLD on a weekday or for those having gatherings or outings with their young friend(s).
‡ In June, the Saturday date for IBLD is either on the summer solstice, or the first Saturday after it. However in December to avoid conflict with the other holidays, the Saturday date is observed either on the solstice or the first Saturday before the winter solstice.
What Does the Blue Candle Symbolize?
Since the 1940's, the color blue has come to represent boys of all ages.
In general, blue candles represent:
Communication, truth, peace, calm, wisdom, understanding, protection, harmony, inspiration, patience, health and happiness, luck, loyalty, peaceful, cooling, contentment, healing, idealism, harmony, devotion, meditation.
However in connection with IBLD, the blue candle can be interpreted to have several different meanings. Etenne's IBLD website (1999) stated that the blue candle symbolically represents the "dispelling of the darkness". Others have suggested that the blue candle represents the love that they feel for boys. Ultimately, the blue candle signifies whatever meaning you personally choose to assign it. Dave Riegel's IBLD web site states that with "each succeeding observance of IBLD will find us closer to that day when the present ignorance, malice, and gross injustice now accorded to loved boys and boylovers will be replaced with understanding, compassion, and fairness, a day when love will be honored and approved between any two human beings." Perhaps each blue candle lit on IBLD simply marks the time until that day.
“Better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.” We are not here to curse the darkness, but to light the candle that can guide us thru that darkness to a safe and sane future. ~ old Chinese proverb
In May or June 1998, the concept of a boylove day was proposed on BoyChat and SafeHaven by TPKA bit to a mixed reception. The idea had activist overtones which has always met with resistance in the Free Spirits community. Babel-17 brought it up again and eventually Sparks took up the cause and began determinedly advocating the idea of an International Boy Love Day. Loren suggested the summer solstice, which is the longest day of sunlight in the northern hemisphere. The idea was discussed on SafeHaven for a time, and the decision was made to celebrate on both solstices so that people in each hemisphere could have an equal chance of having good weather. On BoyChat there continued to be controversy over the idea even as the solstice arrived. But as stories of the first observances began to be posted, the mood changed into one of solidarity. Scruffy Lad presented the first of his many IBLD cards. On an IRC network, Ed invited BLs to chat in a dedicated channel for the 48 hours it was December 21, 1998 somewhere in the world.
It was around this time that Etenne created an official International Boy Love Day Web site, which gave some advice on how to celebrate IBLD and also provided the actual dates of the upcoming solstice, which can vary each year between the 20th, 21st, and 22nd of June and December.
- In 1999, Etenne ran a IBLD note contest on BoyChat and SafeHaven before the winter solstice. The winners were then voted on by the community, see: IBLD note and poetry contest (1999)
Dave Riegel, who was the principal moderator at SafeHaven, established the first IBLD site at IBLD.net on 1 July 1998, which some feel stressed the activism possibilities of the holiday. Between the December 1998 observance and June of 1999, Etenne also put up an IBLD site. IBLD continued to be primarily celebrated by a small number of boylovers who visited BoyChat and SafeHaven. Over time, there began to be disagreements about when and how IBLD should be observed.
By 2002, some boylovers felt that using the solstice was awkward because its date could change every year. Discussion during the IRC marathons was focused on IBLD, and the idea of observing on the Saturday nearest the solstice was brought up. Proponents of this idea noted that the solstice often fell on a weekday when it was difficult to plan activities with young friends and harder to get together with other BLs due to work and school. Others felt that this was prejudiced against boylovers who had no young friends, and no agreement was reached. So by December 2002 some boylovers were celebrating IBLD on the solstice and some were celebrating on the nearest Saturday. After a year, it was generally agreed upon by Saturday-celebrators to celebrate only on the Saturday following the solstice.
Some also felt that celebrating twice a year was too often, confusing, and hindering acceptance of the holiday, and wanted to change the observance to once a year. In June 2002, serious discussions about this were held during the IRC marathon. No definitive record of the result exists but it is most likely that the number of supporters of once- and twice-a-year celebrations was very close. Afterward, Dave Riegel reported that the majority of people in IRC wanted only one celebration a year during the "summer solstice" and changed his IBLD web site to reflect a single annual June celebration. This alienated both boylovers who preferred twice a year or December dates and boylovers living in the southern hemisphere, as well as posters on BoyChat who had not taken part in the IRC marathon or been informed that there would be a vote to change the celebration dates.
The controversy settled down until October 2002, when Etenne posted to BoyChat and asked whether his page should be changed to agree with the IBLD.net site for the sake of unity, or whether the community favored the tradition of celebrating on both solstices. He posted on BoyChat, La Garçonnière, Jongensforum, and the Christian Boylove Forum to gather votes. The results from Free Spirits boards showed that a large majority wanted to keep both days a year.
More controversy arose around 2004 and 2005 on BoyChat, mostly due to Etenne's IBLD site being inactive at that time, leaving Dave Riegel's IBLD.net as the only IBLD site of note left standing. The issue of whether IBLD should be celebrated on the actual solstice days, the Saturday beforehand or the Saturday following each solstice, was hotly debated once again, and the issue of whether IBLD should be limited to one day a year or two was also debated thoroughly during this time. During this time, Dave Riegel's site only recognized the Saturday following the June solstice until a poll conducted on that site in the late summer of 2005 indicated that a majority of those expressing a preference wanted the twice-a-year observance. Riegel's IBLD site was changed to reflect and explain this change.
In the ashes of this debate, BoyChat poster Holden devised a new IBLD site with help from fellow poster Connor called, "YourIBLD". The site was hosted on DareToSpeak.net and professed to be an all-inclusive site dedicated to IBLD, boylovers and boylove culture. It did not advertise an over-arching philosophy or ideology as Holden, Connor and many others felt Riegel's IBLD.net site did and advertised itself as "neutral" in these various debates, though Connor and Dave Riegel did engage in several contentious debates on BoyChat soon after the site's announcement. Unfortunately, the departure of Connor in late 2006 for unknown personal reasons, as well as the departure of Holden from active posting on BoyChat sometime before that, caused the site to be neglected until it was purged from the internet entirely after DareToSpeak.net closed its doors.
The French-speaking BoyWiki mentions a much simpler and more accurate method of calculation for the IBLD dates, that was first proposed in 2016:
- “The Saturday date for IBLD is the Saturday nearest from 21 June or December.”
With this easy and regular method, the IBLD dates always fall between 18 and 24 June or December, and as close as possible to the solstice (but never on Christmas).
White candle protests
A white candle, whose color was said to represents the innocence of children, is sometimes used by antis in protest against IBLD. Despite their best efforts, our candles continue to bring light to the darkness long after theirs have faded into nothingness.
- IBLD pages at Our Love Frontier
- IBLD 2008 Video Beautiful Day Remix (YouTube) - Google tracking! Best viewed in Incognito window.
- A Gaelic Blessing by John Rutter, Performed by the Cambridge Choir (YouTube) - Google tracking! Best viewed in Incognito window.
- http://www.fpc.net/sites/ibld/ - Etenne's IBLD homepage (no longer active) See: https://web.archive.org/web/20030401162150/http://www.fpc.net/sites/ibld/
- http://www.etenne.8m.net/ - Ancient IBLD Mirror belonging to Etenne. (no longer active) See: https://web.archive.org/web/20070326122730/http://etenne.8m.net/
- http://www.ibld.net/ - Dave Riegel's IBLD homepage (no longer active) See: https://web.archive.org/web/20050410074353/http://www.ibld.net/
- http://ibld.nfshost.com/ - International BoyLove Day! (no longer active) See: https://web.archive.org/web/20160110004707/http://ibld.nfshost.com/
- http://ibld.fpc.li/ - Let there be light by Scruffy Lad (no longer active) See: https://web.archive.org/web/20080414170841/http://ibld.fpc.li/
- http://www.daretospeak.net/ibld/ - Holden's IBLD homepage (no longer active) (Not crawled copy exists in Archive.org)