The Bay State Marauders is a fellowship of members, primarily leather/ Levi oriented, whose purpose is to develop character and leadership in the spirit of friendship, brotherhood and goodwill.
In February of 2003, in the back room of the Ramrod, two of our Charter members were having a conversation. The conversation turned to the interest of forming a leather club. In the beginning of March 2003, after speaking with friends, they met with four other men in a house in Quincy to discuss the idea of forming a leather club.
At this meeting, we all sat down and discussed what type of club we wanted to form. We decided it would be formed as an independent social club for gay leathermen in the Boston area. The first thing we needed was a set of by-laws and a constitution. One of our group was a former member of another club and had brought a copy of that club’s by-laws and constitution. These helped us with the foundation of what would become our constitution and by-laws.
Naturally, one of the first things a new organization has to come up with is a name. We had been racking our brains trying to think of something unique that had not been taken by someone else. One of our members is Greek, and he suggested we look at Greek mythology to see if there was a club name that had not been used before. One of the names originally suggested was “Monoceros.” Two of our members were online having a conversation during this search. One member, while trying to type “monoceros,” in error typed “marauder.”
We looked up the word in the dictionary. It read “One who roams about raiding and plundering or a crusader.” The crusader bit stuck with some of us and we thought it’d make a good name for a club. We came up with three possibilities: Boston Marauders, Massachusetts Marauders, and Bay State Marauders. It was Bay State Marauders that we all took a liking to.
We needed our own colors, something unique and also something that couldn’t confuse us with another club. The first idea that came forth was a simple pirate’s boot with old-fashioned font for the name. The picture was quickly rejected as it was too similar to the Leather Archives & Museum logo. After a little research, the Maltese Cross of St. John was presented as a symbol for the Crusaders. It was also discovered that St. John is the patron saint of firefighters. This member remembered that one of the other members had a huge firefighter fetish. The member who was making the logo also thought of firefighters as a brotherhood and in service to the community. For us, the four points of the cross represent people coming from all four directions to become one. The idea for the cross was to infuse it with the leather pride flag. And after different suggestions of colors, we decided on the colors that now represent the Bay State Marauders.
As the months grew, our six members grew to thirteen and officers were elected. At one of the meetings, one of the members volunteered his skills in web design. Three days later, the Marauders web site was born, much to the liking of the rest of the club.
As the months grew on, we decided to have a formal announcement of the club. On February 27, 2004 at the Boston Ramrod at 10pm, the Bay State Marauders held a kickoff party to solicit additional membership, and announce the club. The President of the Marauders sent formal invites to area clubs, and at the event we had eleven clubs present to help celebrate. On stage, the President presented the club and called each of the clubs on stage to speak about their organization and upcoming events. The Marauders received sixteen applications for pledging members.
We are tremendously pleased with the positive reception we have received from Boston’s gay leather community and from the national leather community as well.