Gay Leatherman’s Hanky Code Poster Set (Free Downloads)

Updated a series of posters from several years ago and offering them here for free once again. #leather

Welcome back one and all.

Every month, I like to give something away. Typically, it will be an item that has been out of circulation for a while, and more often than not, it is an item that was created, never used and archived. Sometimes I just like to create something unique for all of you, simply for the joy of it.

Hanky Code, Panel 1 of 5. Click on the image to open the PDF file.

This month’s free set of downloads is called The Gay Leatherman’s Hanky Code. This is a revised version from the series I created two years ago, and works together much better, in my opinion. They detail, to the best of my research, every single one of the Gay Men Leather Community’s hanky code, one of our older traditions.

Hanky Code, Panel 2 of 5. Click on the image to open the PDF file.

They were originally meant as a means of silent communication between men at leather bars in the early days as a means of gauging someone’s particular sexual proclivities. From the time they were invented until just recently in the U.S. in some places, it was a crime to engage in consensual homosexual acts and frequent same sex bars (like the Stonewall Inn in New York City), and often, the police would hassle patrons and actually expose them to the public, often causing a tremendous amount of hardship to these men, some of whom were married to women and had children.

Hanky Code, Panel 3 of 5. Click on the image to open the PDF file.

Don’t forget: in 37 states, it is still legal to discriminate against someone who is a member of the LGTBQi community in employment with no legal recourse. This code was a secret among those who could not, and still to some extent cannot, live their lives openly. Welcome to the land of the free…

Hanky Code, Panel 4 of 5. Click on the image to open the PDF file.

These can be printed at most copy shops for around $1.50 USD each, and be printed in grayscale (black and white) to save money. Click on the image to open the PDF file. Know that each are tabloid size, so taken as the group they are meant to be displayed in, it does take up a considerable amount of space.

Hanky Code, Panel 5 of 5. Click on the image to open the PDF file.

Love to you all.

Ben “Bear” Brown Jr.
Mr. Oregon State Leather 2007

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