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To think the leather flag is inappropriate for work?

71 replies

Tootief · 03/10/2022 12:29

Disclaimer: I can be a prude and purse my lips a bit too often.

Someone at work has the leather flag as their teams background and email picture. It is used by gay men to show they like BDSM.

Lots of people have various LGBT flags as their backgrounds/pictures which, if you don't know them can make conversations easier eg when making small talk about families/partners.

However, surely being into kink is a private matter? It's nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about but I don't need to know that you like to be whipped. How will that enhance our working relationship? Hi Dave, did you have a good weekend? Did you get to try those new ropes out with your dom? I'm pleased to hear the new lube worked well and you don't need to sit on a cushion this week. Now, let's look at that spreadsheet...

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

305 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
Tootief · 03/10/2022 12:30

Most of us don't email people outside of the organisation.

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Tootief · 03/10/2022 12:31

Ps: try saying "to think the leather flag" ten times fast! 🤣

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AuntSalli · 03/10/2022 12:32

In our company we have the standard company logo behind us and anything else would be frowned upon and changed instantaneously

HellyR · 03/10/2022 12:33

That's incredibly inappropriate. It's specifically to do with sex acts not anything else. Even political stuff would be a bit inappropriate tbh.

SeriouslyZen · 03/10/2022 12:33



I would probably change jobs if your employer supports such unprofessional behaviour. Out of interest, can you say what industry this is?

Iamchurchill · 03/10/2022 12:35

Didn’t even know there was one! And I’m gay. Iwouldn’t have thought that was appropriate though, would anyone know what it was? My clients wouldn’t for the most part.

Tootief · 03/10/2022 12:36

@AuntSalli we don't have a policy. Most people have holiday snaps or blurred backgrounds on teams. With emails, pictures of pets or nights out seem to be the most popular option!

I can't say where I work but it's a professional place. Obviously it does not affect how we do our work.

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Midnights · 03/10/2022 12:36

Quick q - will they know what it means? Or have they googled LGBT flags and picked one that looks nice? Definitely inappropriate either way, but if they didn't know it's less of an issue (just needs changing!).

properdoughnut · 03/10/2022 12:36

My first thought was that this was some kind of insult to vegans. But no. You learn something new every day.

Iamchurchill · 03/10/2022 12:36

thats bizarre, use normal pics, the whole point is it supppsed to help you identify colleagues!

Tootief · 03/10/2022 12:38

I work in the office so don't bother with a background. My email photo is a professional headshot from a publication.

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GraceJonesBiggestFan · 03/10/2022 12:40

In. Plain. Sight.

Keyansier · 03/10/2022 12:42

How did you come to recognise the leather flag OP? I wouldn't recognise it if it whipped me in the face.

SirChenjins · 03/10/2022 12:43

Does 'Dave' know what the flag is? Or as @Midnights says, has he had a quick google and come up with something he thinks looks nice?

If he does know, do his managers etc know, and are they OK with it?

NightmareSlashDelightful · 03/10/2022 12:43

If your workplace doesn't have a policy on this, it's difficult to say because there's no accepted 'line' for what's appropriate and what isn't.

Personally I wouldn't know the leather flag if it slapped me in the face (and I'm a gay man) so it would pass me by entirely.

(I've just googled it and it is actually rather a nice design, taken in isolation. So I can see how someone might see the colourways and think, 'Ooh, striking.')

So isn't it one of those self-selecting things? If you recognise it, you already know what it is, meaning it's unlikely to cause offence as such. You evidently already know what it is, because you identified it.

If you think there should be a policy, maybe make the case to HR?

Tootief · 03/10/2022 12:44

@properdoughnut 😂 A few years ago someone wrote an anti meat article for the staff newsletter as it was relevant to an event we were doing. I think they were meant to talk about what being vegan means to them and what impact it has on their life. However it was a rant that only just stopped short of calling meat eaters murderers. I've been a vegetarian for 10 years and even I was shocked that it was allowed to be published.

Oh golly, I'm making my company seem really unprofessional. The work we do is of a really high standard and we've won awards for it.

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TheArtfulScreamer1 · 03/10/2022 12:46

Never heard of the leather flag tbh put please have the Hi Dave conversation I'm sure he'll probably change it himself after that 🤣🤣

Sillysosij · 03/10/2022 12:50

So isn't it one of those self-selecting things? If you recognise it, you already know what it is, meaning it's unlikely to cause offence as such. You evidently already know what it is, because you identified it.

This. If it just looks like a flag to most people, does it really matter? If his work is quality, and it’s mostly used as internal communications anyway so not linking the business with kink, it would be nbd to me.

Tootief · 03/10/2022 12:50

I didn't know what it was either so googled. I don't know much about LGBT flags.

Would someone really just pick a flag because they liked it? There are some lovely looking flags about... until you realise what they mean.

I don't know him, he just popped up on the participants list in a meeting yesterday.

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LemonDrop22 · 03/10/2022 12:52

Didn't even know it existed.

Yeah, inappropriate for work.

LemonDrop22 · 03/10/2022 12:54

Gosh it would be terribly distracting trying to discuss work things with a gay who's advertising so blatantly in a work profile that's he practices BDSM.

Images would keep popping into my head.

Puns would keep popping into my be worried I might voice one of the puns before I got a hold of myself.

LemonDrop22 · 03/10/2022 12:55

*guy, but he's gay guy anyway so ..


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LemonDrop22 · 03/10/2022 12:56

If his work is quality, and it’s mostly used as internal communications anyway so not linking the business with kink, it would be nbd to me.

It's TMI for his work colleagues though.

His work colleagues matter too.

WeAreOnTheRoadToNowhere · 03/10/2022 12:56

Would your company accept tye suffragette flag?
I wonder I'd they are as inclusive when it comes to women's rights🤔

DeanStockwelll · 03/10/2022 12:57

Form your titel I thought someone had actually brought a leather flag into the office , like pp o would have no idea what it represented.
Are you brazen enough to go upto him and ask if he prefer whips or paddles?
Mind uou that could back fire , he may invite you round to ummm . . .show you his etchings 😁👀

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