LGBT Flashback 1997 – The Billy Doll: The Worlds First Anatomically Correct Gay Doll

The “Billy Doll” created by artist John McKitterick and marketed in the United States by London-based Totem International was known as “the first out and proud gay doll”  McKitterick who originally designed Billy as limited-edition run of 1,200 dolls created to benefit an AIDS charity decided to mass market his creation after the entire first lot sold out in a matter of days.

Billy was 13 inches tall and was introduced in a number of versions,  many based upon stereotypical gay characters of the time.

Billy also came dressed in many outfits, including a standard business suit, but  Billy was also available as Sailor Billy, Cowboy Billy, Master Billy,  San Francisco Billy, and even once as Dolly Parton Drag Billy.  Other dolls in the Billy line included Carlos, Billy’s Puerto Rican boyfriend, and Tyson, their African American friend. And best of all Billy was anatomically correct!

The Billy doll was the subject of a 1998 exhibit at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York City and at another charity event everal dozen fashion designers created custom outfits for Billy to benefit the AIDS charity LIFEBeat.

In 2001, a Billy donned a brown uniform with a patch reading “BPS” (for Billy’s Parcel Service) and the United Parcel Service sent Totem cease and desist letters advising that the uniform violated UPS’s registered trademark. Totem agreed to stop selling the brown-uniformed Billy style.

Shortly after that Billy stopped being manufactured.

Today the Billy Doll is highly collectible and becoming extremely rare with some versions fetching as much as $900.oo in mint condition at online auctions.

*CLICK the MORE button below to see Billy and his boyfriend Carlos in all their glory! – NWSF  (And interestingly Carlos is uncut.)


Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, writer, blogger and owner of A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Advocate, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, Raw Story, and The Huffington Post

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14 Responses

  1. inkydarkness says:

    I noticed you used the photos I’ve taken. This is fine, but do you mind listing credit for the images?

  2. Angela says:

    I keep reading that Billy was introduced in 1997. But I have the AIDS awareness (tuxedo with red AIDS ribbon) Billy doll and his packaging says 1996?

  3. john says:

    I wish they didn’t stop making them,I have billy & 4 outfits but i never got & wanted to get the fireman & parcel service outfit :-( i always wanted Carlos & Tyson as well but Ebay people are selling them for $250.00 & up & for the outfits they want $79.99 $50 for shipping,150.00 + $12 for shipping & 200.00 + $10 shipping & that’s so ridiculous That they are charging that.Totem bring Billy & his friends back. I only paid $49.99 $ 12.99 per outfit,i have 4 outfits. Please some one tell Totem!!!!

    • Jerome Peek says:

      Maybe I can help you out. I happen to have one (well, more, actually ) of your very much wanted “Billy Fireman”. In the original box. Bought it in NY two days before 9/11 for $48,00. One hitch : top lid is missing. I can assure you I never played with it (all grown up, really, and happily married ) but’s a flaw.
      Interested ? Send me a mail. I”ll take some photos from the actual doll and maybe we can talk business.

      • neil says:

        still any bill dolls

        • Jerome Peek says:

          Yes, still around – not for long though. l’ll be moving soon and decided to clean house. A lot of stuff is going bye-bye and that includes the last Billy doll (plus additional clothing set Frisco Billy) and the last Tyson. Next week the two of them are going on Ebay and/or Amazon. Plus, they’re up for sale at a real auction in Amsterdam, Holland (my current residence). So : if you’re really serious, respond…if not, not. BTW : could supply you with photos &c etcetera.

          • Hello, I am looking for twoTyson Billy dolls to compete my collection: Sailor Tyson and Policeman Tyson (MIB) I have all of the other Tyson variations. I have two Tyson Army dolls and would be willing to trade him for either of the aforementioned variations I’m seeking or just buy them outright, for a fair price.

          • Carlos doll says:

            I know its been a year but was wondering if you still had any b illy and carlos dolls.would really love a carlos doll as i’ve been after one for years

  4. wire says:

    Billy and co. are not anatomically correct (or incorrect), they are anatomically absurd. That criticism isn’t limited to the summer-sausage members either, everything about the dolls’ design panders to the shallowest gay stereotypes in the most extreme way. They are grotesque parodies of a size queen gym rat’s wet dream.

  5. Stacy says:

    Hi I have a police man billy doll for sale. UK

  6. Cornelius Hackl says:

    If anyone would be interested in the blonde tattooed Billy with towel and black speedo, I have one that is truly FINE. The original plastic package is included, although torn. Billy’s other package is quite superb. Hit me up!

  1. November 21, 2014

    […] 1st Love is not the 1st gay doll of its type – that honour goes to Gay Bob (1977), although the ideal known gay doll today is the Billy Doll (1997). […]

  2. December 2, 2014

    […] are rumors circulating that tell the tale of Billy’s demise resulting from a lawsuit by UPS (challenging Totem’s use […]

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