Homophobic ‘Sagging Pants’ Warning Circulates on Facebook


DailyKos calls it out:

It's false. Completely false. It's worked so well because it preys on teenagers' homophobia. Since there's a ton of insecurity among teenagers when it comes to sexuality, the story was written specifically to prey on teenagers' homophobia so they would pull their pants up for fear of being thought gay.

Do your part to help stop this homophobic myth by telling people that this story is bogus and does nothing but spread homophobia. Find another way to tell kids to pull their pants up.


  1. Sparky says

    I read the link and didn’t find any definitive evidence that the urban myth was false. Also, I don’t think it’s homophobic to educate people on the history of why we do the things we do. If someone chooses to wear his/her pants like this after knowing the origins, then we should be fine with his/her comfortability with his/her sexuality.

  2. Sargon Bighorn says

    Odd that the figures are White when we all know that the majority of inmates are Non-White. I think it’s racist.

  3. BJ says

    Do I have to participate in this educational program? I personally cannot stand this “look.”
    And this graphic doesn’t really talk negatively about homosexuality.
    Yes, it states erroneous information, but there is no judgment listed that anal penetration is bad.

  4. johnny says

    Sorry, I don’t see this as homophobic.

    There is nothing in that text which states that anal penetration is a BAD thing, nor does it say anything negative about gay people, specifically or generally. It does, however, point out that it’s a style born in prison which to me is more Con-aphobic than anything. IMO, it’s saying “Dress like this and you’ll look like an inmate who likes to receive anal sex.”

    And seriously, why would anyone want to go around looking like an inmate, regardless of their sexual proclivities?

    Either way, this style is idiotic and in bad taste. I don’t see a problem using this to get men to stop styling like inmates, as long as it accomplishes the task.

    (running for cover in 3, 2, 1…)

  5. Kevin_BGFH says

    Sparky, perhaps you didn’t read it clearly. The sagging pants trend did start in prisons, but it had absolutely nothing to do with signaling the availability for sex. Its because pants were issued in standard sizes that didn’t always fit, and belts were never allowed, so pants that were too big would naturally sag. It had nothing to do with signaling for sex, but the image is suggesting that if you don’t pull your pants up, people will assume you’re gay and looking to be topped. The implication, of course, that one would never want to be perceived that way — and, thus, it’s homophobic.

  6. MArk says

    I don’t like people showing their asses in public, so i’m totally fine with this, legend, myth or whatever I don’t give a fck

  7. nikko says

    Homophobic my ass- this style is a disgrace and does not need a reason to be discouraged. It’sgarbage thug culture. That black culture popularized it was because of thugs, prison life- and that is not something to emulate, wether it’s crime and rape-related.

  8. Bobby says

    If it makes them pull their pants up, I say GOOD. It’s not homophobic either. The guys that wear that style are usually straight and I’m sure they don’t want to send the message they want to be “penetrated”.

  9. Eric says

    Missinformation, but not homophobic. No where does it say that LGBT people are less than straight people.

  10. MarkUs says

    I think when it comes to prison trends and meanings, it would be wise to never say always and never say never. What BS. How the hell do you know, been to every one?

  11. Luke says

    I don’t find it homophobic, nor do I particularly care that oversensitive non-hip hop White gay guys might. It is an effective ad targeted at a specific audience. Good ad.

  12. TyN says

    Not homophobic at all. People that do this have to waddle because their pants will fall down if they don’t. Watching them try to climb the subway steps is even more ridiculous.

  13. johnny says


    Slightly different take:

    People would assume you were an ex-con and that you like anal sex with men.

    Nobody is going to assume you’re gay because gay men don’t usually dress this idiotic.

  14. Guy says

    Want to know what part of that poster is false.

    The trend of butt-hugging pants did originate in prisons.

    Was it a signal for sex? Is that the false part? And is it false?

  15. FernLaPlante says

    Whether this is true or not, it doesn’t seem homophobic to me. It’s just a stupid fashion trend.

  16. Jack says

    This is interesting. Usually I’m the one telling people to back off the homophobia cries, but I actually understand the argument here. If it were not implicit that being penetrated was bad, then how exactly would this campaign be effective? It relies on this to achieve its goal.

    On the other hand, I sympathize with the goal of the misinformation. No matter what race, I’ve never been afraid of someone dressed neatly while waiting on an empty subway platform late at night…

  17. Tonic says

    Who cares about stuff like this? There are so many things to worry about in this world that someone’s pants hanging low and showing NOW SKIN is irrelevant. Let people dress as they wish.

  18. Rick says

    It is homophobic, folks. Read the first sentence. Given what follows, it is implying that it is “not nice” to have sex with another guy, especially to be penetrated by another guy.

    Nikko and Kevin are right, too about the origins of the “look” and how it entered the general population. “Gangsta rap” romaticizes law-breaking and thug-like behavior and its aficianados started dressing that way to emulate convicts, because having broken the law is considered “cool” to their way of thinking.

    On a different note, how many of you have ever had prison-sex fantasies? LOL.

  19. Caliban says

    Geez. I hate the saggy pants look too but YES this is homophobic. “If you wanna look like some queer looking to get screwed, keep wearing your pants that way!” That being gay and desiring receptive anal sex is bad is implicit but it’s still there.

    And it’s also not true. As someone else said it started because belts aren’t allowed in jails/prison because they be used as weapons or to commit suicide.

    If you want to ask “WTF are you doing idealizing PRISON styles? Have some respect for yourself!” fine. But why lie and make it homophobic on top of that?

  20. tom a says

    i REALLY want to yell “nice ass!” at these guys, but haven’t gotten up the courage yet.

  21. says

    This is so ridiculous and it was debunked years ago. How OLD is this news? This has been a topic of discussion for years. Cancel your subscription to ‘Day Old News’ Andy.

  22. Dan says

    If you’re straight, you likely don’t want to take it up the ass from another guy. If this is homophobic, than I’m being heterophobic when I cringe at the thought of eating a woman out.

    Homophobic my ass.

  23. DJ says

    Anyone in the gay community, who often pushes the limits of taste and appropriateness (which I fully support) has a double standard if they take issue with saggy pants.

  24. beef and fur says

    I just don’t understand why the guys who do this don’t wear better underwear? You would think they would have clean, nice and maybe some fancy pants, but no…dirty dollar store brand boxers or worse. Ugh.

    Oh yes, I get the point of this being homophobic. It essentially says “dont sag or people will think you are gay” so for that logic to work, gay must equal bad, which then equals homophobic.

  25. Married in Mass says

    In any case, it’s really the most ridiculous fashion trend I’ve ever seen… and I’ve been around quite awhile.

    I also don’t understand how they keep their pants from falling down and it certainly can’t be comfortable.

  26. Jose S says

    Hmm, I always thought that sagging pants were homoerotic anyway, but I think that the sagging pants story is very much true, because those who are denying it are simply doing it because of their own internal homophobia as they like to sag their pants and show off their butts to other men.

  27. Insensitivefools says

    It is homophobic and the the guys on here who don’t see that are not very informed. If someone is trying to discourage something by saying you will look gay if you do it, and you wouldn’t want THAT now would you? How is that not anti-gay?
    I don’t like the look of the sagging pants either, but it’s just another fashion fad that will pass with time. Let them do what they want. When I was younger, I liked to dress in vintage clothes. My mom hated it and said I looked like a bum. We don’t dress to please an older generation.

  28. yep says

    Myth is distorted…belts are confiscated when arrested, hence the baggy pants. That is all.

  29. Jacques says

    It is absolutely homophobic, and in the purest sense of the word. It plays on straight guys’ fear of us f_gs, or of even worse, appearing to be one of us.

    As for the fashion aspect, most of you are saying exactly the same kind of things that the old fogeys were saying about our long hair back in the 60s. Now that I’m old I refuse to be a fogey. Purple hair? Lip rings? Ear lobes the size of quarters? It’s all good, dude.

    Besides, those saggers can be kind of sexy.

  30. Tanoka says

    I read that as ‘gays are so ready for anal sex anytime and anywhere that they can’t be bothered to pull up their pants’.

    Which is very homophobic and offensive, even more offensive than people wearing saggy pants.

  31. johnny says

    I think the point that most of us who don’t view this as homophobic are saying:

    Nowhere in this poster is the word “GAY” or “HOMOSEXUAL” used.


    If you know anything about Kinsey or any other sexual studies, you’ll know that many otherwise straight men resort to same-sex situations in prison, regardless of how they self-identify otherwise. The only thing this poster mentions is anal penetration. Anal penetration is not necessarily gay, especially in prison. Many otherwise straight men will offer themselves for penetration to get jobs, money, favors, cigarettes, drugs, whatever. It’s how the prison system works if you are there for a long time.

    The poster not equating anal penetration to gay men, it’s equating it to inmates. And with good reason.

    Yes, if people want to look like inmates (white or black), that’s their business. But I certainly won’t hire them, regardless of their skills. It’s basic thug behavior and totally ignorant. It glorifies criminals and celebrates prison life.

    Has our society sunk so low that people are now just fine with glorifying the lowest common denominator of society, a criminal?

    Something is very wrong here and it’s not my outlook.

  32. Michaelandfred says

    Get over it grandpa. Don’t like saggy jeans? Don’t wear them. It’s just one generations silly fashion trend, nor more ridiculous seeming to other people than many others.

    As for the intent? Of course the intention is homophobic. Wearing your pants down is what those who want to take it up the backside in prison do. Maybe people will think you want it to.

  33. Snownova says

    Hmm, part of me wants to fight homophobia among teens, but a bigger part of me wants the teens not to look like f’ing mental defects when they go outside…

    such a dilemma.

  34. Francis says

    I wouldn’t say the intent is necessarily homophobic. At least not blatantly anti-gay. It’s not really targeting gay men, or even homosexual sex. But the ad is basically saying “do you want to look like a prison b*tch? No? Then pull your pants up”. It’s not saying “don’t be gay” or “don’t look gay”. I was told by my uncle that the pants sagging was a prison sex thing. This ad is definitely targeting urban/inner city communities because that’s where that whole connection came about, literally an urban myth. Hopefully something comes out of it, I don’t really care about sagging pants, but for those who do it, it looks so unprofessional and unbecoming.

  35. Eric says

    That whole “there are no belts in prison” thing is utter nonsense. One word. Elastic.

    Seriously, did anyone actually try asking prison inmates from back in the day? I knew a few and the graphic tells what they told me 20 years ago…

    Also, the whole “this is homophobic because it mentions gay sex and prison” is nonsensical at best.

  36. Insensitivefools says

    I also think it’s hilarious that the “PSA” says that …”prisoners needed to invent a signal that would go unnoticed by the guards…”
    I think the guards would have to be blind not to notice pants that are hanging down around an inmate’s knees and it wouldn’t take them long to figure out that the guys who “were available to be penetrated” were the only ones wearing their pants in this fashion. It’s hardly a subtle signal. I would think a wink or a nod or a smoldering look would work a lot better and be more easily hidden. This was clearly made up by someone who is trying to prey on the homophobia of young men.

  37. StevyD says

    Lying to prove a point is a contemptible decision and so is defaming a sexual practice as pejorative because it would label you not only as gay, but as a willing bottom.

  38. BobN says

    Of course the ad is homophobic. The whole thing boils down to “you don’t want people think you’re gay, do you?”

    That said, with all the homophobia around, at least this little bit is serving a public good if it gets guys to dress less ridiculously.

  39. Insensitivefools says

    @johnny–but this isn’t telling them “don’t do this or else you’ll look like an inmate”–heck, that wouldn’t work at all since thug fashion is extremely popular with the young men this is supposedly trying to reach.
    What it is saying is “you don’t want to look like an inmate who takes it in the butt!!!!”
    It doesn’t have to say the words “gay” or “homosexual” to be homophobic. Saying that “appearing as if you are an inmate who does those disgusting things that the gays do… ought to scare you from this fashion trend”…. is most emphatically homophobic.

  40. Bob says

    The obvious origin of sagging pants in prison — many Black people have larger hips, thighs, and ass, and a smaller waist, than the typical White person for whom clothing is sized.
    Thus, the need to wear prison pants too large in the waist (no alterations in prison), thus the sagging, which got taken up as a look.

  41. Michael says

    Sorry, but as a top, I tink saggy pants are the best thing to ever happen to fashion. And if ur a guy that has ur ass hanging out u know exactly what you’re selling.

  42. jaragon says

    This ridiculous look did start in prisons- there is nothing really homophobic about the add-but there is nothing sexy about sagging pants.

  43. just_a_guy says

    Not gonna lie, I think it’s a hot look. It’s sorta edgy, actually: It reclaims the male ass to be admired in a way.

    I see gay dudes at clubs pull it off, and I admit it’s sexy. That said, it represents a disconnect from professionalism, and just isn’t ME.

    But, Towleroad, you hit the nail on the head with your post. I’ve seen that banner like a year ago and thought the same thing. I’m so PROUD of you for properly and formally calling it out for the load of BS it is. :-).

  44. poof says

    I don’t see it as homophobic either. I see it as a way to stop the stupid fashion trend. If you want your coinslot to be seen, walk around bareass.

    and I am unanimous in this

  45. Randy says

    Does it even matter how it started? Who cares. If it looks good, it looks good. Only the mirror can tell…

  46. NY2.0 says

    I do see how this ad can be deemed homophobic, it doesn’t have to explicitly refer to gay people to be seen that way.

    On a personal note, I would never wear my pants like that. Just not my style but I do admit it does look good on some guys who have the physique to pull it off.

  47. says

    It’s postings like this that breed taunting and bullying of our gay kids. Please express the homophobic angle of this ad on it’s page or any person who circulates it. Don’t be complacent toward homophobia. People are not complacent toward racism or any form of prejudice..why should we when faced with subtle to not so subtle traces of homophobia?
    Think about that

  48. Gary A says

    I don’t really see how it’s homophobic, but I really would like to see these dumbasses pull their f’ing pants up!

  49. ophu says

    I think it actually started because belts were seen an potential weapons in a prison.So they stopped giving prisoners belts to hold up their pants. On another note, it is a really disgusting trend that makes the participants look like they have a diaperload that needs changing. :p

  50. Sherrod says

    This is actually true. My mom has been a deputy sheriff in the Norfolk, VA prison for well over 15 years, and not only did she tell me about this prison meme repeatedly, but on my numerous trips to the jail, I saw it. And I don’t see how this can be homophobic if it’s true. I don’t think it preys on heterosexual fears because, as a gay man, I don’t want to be raped at all! I think it preys on all fears. This article is so silly.

  51. Ray Sager says

    I don’t see this article as being homophobic at all. Honestly, I am not the least bit offended by this P.S.A. If it gets guys to pull up their pants and wear them correctly, then more power to them. To be frank, I don’t care to see men with their pants hanging off their hips like that. It’s uncouth and totally shows a lack of decency on the wearers part. If I had gone outside looking like this, my mother would have marched me back upstairs and made me wear a belt.

  52. ratbastard says

    As a teen I was into all kinds of stuff and looks, and am far from tight a**, but this ‘fashion’ has got to be the stupidest sh*t to come down the pike in my lifetime. I’m not going to lie and say I don’t check these dudes out *wink*, but it’s still completely asinine. Some of these dudes literally have their pants almost completely fallen down. Just the stupid way they have to walk, like they took a dump in their shorts, makes me crack up. I assume gay fashion designers are the ones really behind this ‘look’, because why the F would a straight dude want to show off his underwear and a** crack to begin with?

    Now of course the fashion is tight pants and shirts, but a lot of them still wear their pants ‘low’.

  53. Dan says

    I happen to love seeing a hot ass framed in boxers peeking out of a pair of sagging pants. But maybe that’s just me. And as far as decrying it as a stupid fashion trend, I think there are plenty of those out there, so why pick on this one.

  54. Dan says

    You kids get off my lawn! *shakes cane*

    Posted by: Mousie | Jun 20, 2012 6:14:19 PM


  55. nikko says

    DAN, and many others, this isn’t just a fashion trend. It is wholly innappropriate to have your pants hang just below your butt and be forced to walk like a idiot as a result. And Jacques, giant earlobes(another ugly, stupid trend) tattoes, lip piercings all are good? Really? Who taught you good taste?! aPeople have never looked more ugly and stupid than today’s delinquents. Douchebags are the majority today.

  56. GPry says

    Wow, the lack of logic on the internet is astonishing. How is this NOT homophobic? Does someone really need to spoon-feed you something offensive for it to dawn on you that yes, it is offensive? Are people truly that dense? Let me break it down for ya!

    1 – Myth!
    2 – Dislike a myth, find a way to make people feel bad about the practice
    3 – Claim it was started by gays seeking anal sex!
    4 – feed (successfully) on subtle homophobia so as to fly under the radar of lukewarm IQ.
    5 – Profit.

  57. Stefan says

    For this to be homophobic, don’t you have to presume that anal sex is an exclusively gay activity and that all anal sex practiced between men constitutes gay sex? Homophobia is an identity based attitude–it’s not the same as edinakusesiphobia (fear of anal sex).

  58. Mofo says

    Lmao it started because prison systems had generic sizes for uniforms. To save money they purchased bigger sizes to fit multiple inmates. Watching old people with pant legs that don’t touch their shoes, or guys wearing tight jeans like girls arnt any better. Spend more time hating on your self and less time hating on others.

    Peace hommies :)

  59. Contrarian says

    Of course it’s homophobic in the context of the audience sought to be influenced by the ad. The ad isn’t directed to fashion forward gays, as some here seem to think, but young people (African-Americans in particular). These adolescents are, just as the article claimed, extremely sensitive to any attacks on their “manhood”, or self-image as hetero sexual. Telling them it’s unflattering or unfashionable to get them to change might work in WeHo or Manhattan’s west side, but gays are not the audience! It’s obviously dropping the gay bomb on young men allergic to gayness, even if the readers of this blog wished they weren’t.

  60. Tom Smith says

    I am all for the advertising. I can out of walmart the other day and there was a ‘black’ guy with the top of his pants below the bottom of his white briefs. NASTY! You could see the tread marks on his underpants.

  61. MaddM@ says

    yes, this is homophobic, not explicitly but implicitly

    When reading this, change it so instead of the connection it creates between
    sagging pants —> wanting penetrated
    and change it to
    sagging pants —> wanting cookies

    It really doesn’t quite pack the same punch does it?

    I think the really sad thing is that in a group of (im assuming) homosexuals the notion that wanting to get topped is such a negative thing is so ingrained into our society that it doesn’t even register