As many of you probably know, I put up a blog post about a week ago entitled “My Diaper Pride Flag.” In that post, I showcased multiple versions of this “pride flag” and explained why I designed it the way I did.
After my post here, I shared my design on Reddit (on r/ABDL, to be specific). Side note: I mentioned my Reddit presence in my previous post about the XL Goodnites, but I don’t think I have mentioned it before. Truth be told, I believe I started my Reddit account in order to promote this blog on r/ABDL when I first started it. I think I had only ever browsed r/ABDL before then. After my post announcing this blog, I have mostly just been a browser/lurker. I have at times been very active in browsing the page, but I have rarely had the inclination to post or comment. (The reasons why are perhaps the subject for another post.)
Anyway, back to the main story. Here on my blog, I only got one comment about the flag, and it was positive. This comment actually came in after I had already gotten a lot of feedback on Reddit. Well, I say a lot, but all I mean is that it was a lot to me. Anyway, most of the feedback I got on Reddit at first was negative or critical, but I did get more positive feedback as time went on. (View the post and comments with this link.)
After having mulled over the feedback for about a week, I would like to indirectly respond to some of the criticism and then directly respond to a particular criticism. To begin with, I want to clarify my intentions in creating my design. I was not trying to take it upon myself to bestow a symbol upon AB/DLs or the larger diaper wearing community. Nor was I trying to replace any of the symbols that had previously been accepted (to one degree or another) by the AB/DL community. I was simply introducing a new symbol that I thought did a good job of representing most diaper wearers.
My hope was for this symbol to be adopted by a decent percentage of the community. Why? Well, that relates to the core purpose I had in mind for the symbol. I wanted it to be useful as an identity marker for diaper wearers, so that we could identify each other more easily. The more popular the symbol might become, the more useful it would be. Awareness of the meaning of the symbol would be the most basic requirement for it to be useful, and then the number of people using the symbol on shirts, hats, stickers, etc. would determine how many new introductions it could create between diaper users.
Circling back, large-scale adoption was the dream. It was a fantasy. But the reason behind the fantasy was not a self-centered one. It was one with the community in mind. That being said, I was just putting out a proposal. I knew that my symbol was far from guaranteed to catch on. I was, from the beginning, willing to let my symbol live or die by its natural level of community adoption.
Yes, I did make a TeePublic account to upload my symbol. This was not based upon my desire to profit from the symbol. I only wanted to make the symbol easily available in a physical form. Really, when I had the idea to put the symbol on TeePublic, it was only something I was going to go through with if it was easy. And it turned out to be unbelievably easy.
To reiterate what I said in my original post here and on Reddit, I am making my design free to share and use in any way, for profit or not. So, if you want to post the exact same design to your TeePublic account as I posted to mine, or if you want to post it on some other merch site, feel free. I am donating my design to my fellow diaper wearers (not that I’m a huge philanthropist here).
Before I move on, I just want to be even more blunt about something I touched on before: If you don’t like my design, that’s totally fair and I don’t begrudge you for having your opinion. You don’t have to identify yourself with my symbol or accept any affiliation with it. On the other hand, if you do like my design, I will be honored to have you adopt it as a marker of your identity. (And, yes, I said “a marker” because you can use my creation alongside any of the other AB/DL symbols that exist now or have yet to be created. It’s not an exclusive thing.)
I think the above thoughts are enough to address a large number of the criticisms I received. However, if not, I did respond to each criticism individually over on Reddit. I will admit, though, that I tended to be more argumentative in those responses. Here on my blog, I try to only post thoughts that I am quite settled on.
Speaking of which, at the time I posted “My Diaper Pride Flag,” I was quite settled on everything it contained. This includes the moniker “diaper pride flag.” As you may remember, I even discussed my choice to use the word “diaper” instead of the label “AB/DL.” (To refresh anyone who may not remember, the choice was because I wanted to show the potential inclusiveness of the flag for non-AB/DL wearers.)
At the time of my original post, I was also settled on the “pride flag” aspect of the name. I had, of course, heard the term “pride flag” used primarily to refer to LGBTQ+ pride flags (mainly the rainbow flag and the transgender flag, to be specific). However, this term had also been used on the announcement page for David’s AB/DL flag (a 2004 design I discussed in my previous flag post), so I didn’t think the term was necessarily exclusive to the LGBTQ+ community. Beyond this, I had the literal definition of “pride” in mind whenever I was naming my symbol. I don’t know that I ever thought directly about it, but I know that I liked the idea of my symbol being used to say, “I’m proud of who I am.”
The “flag” part of the name was baked in from the start. I wanted, probably because of my awareness of David’s flag, to create a flag. I guess I also thought it was the appropriate type of symbol to create for a community, since the LGBTQ+ community and its subgroups have very publicly used flags. With my intention to create a flag, the first step in my design process was to look up the common aspect ratios for flags. I then chose one and created a blank canvas of that aspect ratio on my iPad.
As you can see, my naming process for my design was not arbitrary at all, and I thought it made sense. I didn’t expect to get any push-back over the name. If anything, I expected people to say my design was ugly or too simple. I was worried about the object of my creation, not the title I’d given it.
Yet, I did get criticism about the name. Even some people who liked my design brought up the fact that the name might not be the best. The most vocal people opposed to the name were two self-identified members of the LGBTQ+ community. They felt that the name was improperly equivocating being an AB/DL with being an LGBTQ+ person.
I do not fully agree with that assessment. However, the criticism I received has indirectly led me to discover that the term “pride flag” really is pretty much exclusively associated with the LGBTQ+ community. Even pride flags that represent kinks are meant to represent kinks within the LGBTQ+ community. At least, this is what I have gathered from some basic research. Correct me in the comments section if I’ve stumbled again.
If I’m correct here, then that means I have two reasons to stop calling my design a “diaper pride flag.” The first reason is because, while I did not intend to imply equivocation between the diaper wearing community and the LGBTQ+ community, the word “pride” has too much potential to lead people in that direction. The second reason is because I do not want my design to be exclusively for LGBTQ+ people who are also diaper wearers, nor do I want it to be considered a “kink” symbol. I’m sure the latter determination is unavoidable, especially for people outside the AB/DL community, but there really are just so many non-sexual aspects of the lifestyle.
In the end, I am no longer going to be calling my design a “diaper pride flag.” For good measure, I will also stop calling it a flag. I don’t think this is really necessary, since flags are more commonly associated with countries than with the LGBTQ+ community. However, it does completely remove the expectation for my design to be used in a rectangular form.
From now on, I will be calling my design a “diaper emblem.” It is a symbol meant to discreetly represent a diaper and, through its intended application, represent the desire or need to wear diapers as an adult. I will define my emblem as: a symbol of any shape with a white or off-white background and two blue tab designs on each half (left and right), originating at the edges.
This emblem may be used on a flag, although I’m sure this application will be rare if it ever even happens. It may also be used on stickers, shirts, hats, etc.
It’s only a matter of time before I get a shirt with the diaper emblem for myself. I might also get some other items with the emblem. I’ll be sure to share pictures of whatever I get. Online mock-ups just aren’t the same as photos.
I suppose I’ve said enough for now. Thank you for reading my update! Please like this post to show support for my blog and please leave a comment to share your thoughts on the change of direction I’ve had regarding the design I made.