A Brief History of Bloodstained Men
Bloodstained Men as an organization can trace its origin to the decision of late intactivist leader Jonathon Conte to bring seven sets of white painters overalls marked with red crotches to the protest at the October 2012 American Academy of Pediatrics convention protest in New Orleans. Though the visually arresting bloodstained crotch protest concept was a 2010 creation of British intactivist Richard Duncker, Conte’s deployment of the suit was the first example in the United States and was the spark for our organization. Seven men boldly wore these suits outside the convention hall, causing quite a sensation among the conference attendees and veteran demonstrators alike.
In an interview given that momentous weekend by our eventual founder Brother K, he declared to the renowned intactivist videographer/photographer James Loewen that, “the bloodstain is the most powerful symbol I have ever seen for a protest movement in modern day America. Its power derives from its exact representation of the wound that lies under the clothing. We're revealing it to the world, an intimate violation of another human being's body.”
After the AAP convention, Brother K returned home to California, convinced that his future protests would be most effective and powerful in, what we called at the time, "a bloody suit." No stranger to solo protest, on November 3, 2012, he prepared his own stained suit and headed out to a lone wolf demonstration outside the annual convention of the Association of American Medical Colleges being held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.
Brother K was now full steam ahead and knew that this powerful new symbol needed a proper name and an organization to give it life. “I sat down the morning of November 6th. After several hours of thought, and numerous ideas, I settled on what seemed to me the obvious, ‘Bloodstained Men & Their Friends,' and I created the Facebook page later that day. I got a permit from the State Police, (which administers security at the California State Capitol in Sacramento,) and we held our first protest there on Thursday, December 6, 2012.” Six of the attendees wore the bloodstained suits on the steps of the statehouse.
NB: It is important to mention that German intactivists were following the Bloodstained Men facebook page with great appreciation for the power of the symbol. In a series of protests in November and December of 2012, several Germans proudly called themselves "Bloodstained Men & Their Friends," as indeed they were, and continue to be. While we bear the mantle officially as the one and only nonprofit organization with the name Bloodstained Men, we continue to stand in solidarity with and appreciation of those people of goodwill anywhere in the world who choose to use bloodstained symbolism in their activism.