Noodles and Beef

Achieving “rapture” while flagging.

Alpha looking huge as ever at Flagging in the Park.

This is the first appearance of my brand on alpha…beautiful.

Trying slow motion video at flagging in the park. Glorious.


San Francisco is one of the three “Flagging Capitols” of the world, followed by Sydney, and Palm Springs.  It’s kind of a big thing here.  Most parties I go to have flag-friendly spaces or dedicated stages where flaggers are free entertainment for club-goers.  

Flagging transcends gay cliques and is one of the few times you’ll see Bears, Twinks, Chubs, Muscle Bears, Leather folk, and Faeries put aside their subculture bias to party with each other.

Outside the flagging oasis that is San Francisco, this style of dance is largely unheard of to my generation.  Not because it went out of style, like raves or hula hoops, but because advancements in technology (cellphones, Facebook, dating apps, etc) and gay rights have made flagging unnecessary.

But first, some gay history…

Gay Culture is notorious for adopting a dying art and making it our own:

  • Country Line Dancing (an original American folk dance) was on the brink of extinction when Gays resurrected it. Most Line Dancing bars are gay these days.
  • The VHS Head Cleaner industry was looking death in the eye as DVDs went mainstream…then gays found a unique use for the cleaning product and saved an industry.
  • Madonna, a musical demon, needs attention to maintain her youth and immortality. Unable to resist the siren call of a failing diva, Gays rushed in and provide life-sustaining adoration.

Boats used to communicate to each other using Semaphore, a morsecode-like language where the alphabet is signaled using a pair of bright flags.  With the advent of radio, semaphore was quickly becoming a dying language…until Gays adopted it.

Back then, Gays needed a discrete (yet fabulous) way to communicate with one another…and Semaphore still had the masculine association of being a Naval/Maritime language.  It was destiny.

Flagging quickly spread through the gay underground.  Regional dialects like vogueing and fanning soon followed, but the movements remain largely the same.  (Fun fact: DTF used to stand for Down to Flag).

As gays became more widely accepted, there was no longer a need to disguise our communications with a secret language like flagging…and with the technological advancement of texting, cell phones, and dating apps, the new generation of gays have never needed a more colourful way to communicate.

These days, we don’t flag to communicate, but to remember our vibrant struggle as a community.  The flagging community has created a living mentorship system, your first flags are gifted to you by your Flag Daddy, who teaches you the art and language of our people.  When you’re ready, you make your own flags using silk and tie dye.

I’m still learning, but I’ve posted some photos and video of flagging if anyone is interested.

Reposting for historical reasons.

Making poi flags.


Flagging at Blau last night. What an incredible night. More to come when I get back to Boston.

Gahh. Amazing flagging.

More flagging at my wedding.  Featuring cublifeboston looking incredible flagging.

7pm doors open.

Flagging for the first part of the night with all my flagger friends.  Received these beautiful flags from Sky pup, thank you :D