|Solstice Date:||21 June 2009|
|Saturday Date:||27 June 2009|
|Solstice Date:||21 December 2009|
|Saturday Date:||26 December 2009|
International Boylove Day, commonly referred to as IBLD, is celebrated by many boylovers in the online boylove community. The celebrations began with participants from Free Spirits and SafeHaven. It is a day for boylovers to come together in solidarity, to remind each other of our good and loving natures, and a day for remembrance. IBLD falls on the summer and winter solstices but in recent years is also commonly observed on the following Saturdays.
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. There is no right or wrong way to observe IBLD.
In some places, boylovers use the day to meet up and celebrate together. In the Netherlands, 50 boylovers met up at a tavern for the 2005 observance, which was a huge record.
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. 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. On an IRC network, Ed invited BLs to chat in a dedicated channel for the 48 hours it was 21 December 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.
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 Garçonièrre, 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. Etenne's IBLD site remained the same and 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. The site has been changed to reflect and explain that change, and, since Etenne's site has not been updated since 2003, is currently the only active site promoting IBLD.