Why Is Pink Gay?

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About Steven Axelrod

Steven Axelrod holds an MFA in writing from Vermont college and remains a member of the WGAw despite a long absence from Hollywood. A father of two, he lives on Nantucket, where he paints houses and writes novels, often at the same time, much to the annoyance of his customers.


  1. The same can be asked of high heeled strappy sands, frilly blouses, and skirts. A man has every right to wear those should he feel so inclined. Wearing such doesn’t necessary mean he’s a homosexual, but some people might have questions.

  2. Belongs, along with “the boy with the girl’s bike” in the Museum Of The Hard To Believe.

  3. I treat people differently because they wear crocs, not because of the color of said crocs. I figure wearing crocs is jumping the shark anyway, so what does their color matter?

    Oh, and I treat male and female croc wearers the same way: as people who apparently can’t look at their feet or see themselves in a mirror – not as gay.

    So I wouldn’t shout “faggot”, but I would roll my eyes and say “My. Been shopping at K-mart lately, have we? Flip-flops just too up-scale and boojie…?”

  4. Brilliant.
    I’m a vet, but also a liberal (rare in my neck of the woods). It’s interesting to watch the reactions of folks who think that ‘liberal’ and ‘veteran’ are oxymoronic.
    Enjoy the pink Crocs!

    • CajunMick- After reading your posts I gotta say I would love to sit down, drink a few beers and shoot the bull with you. Your combination of Acadian, Buddhist, Veteran and Progressive has got to make you one of the more interesting people I would ever hope to meet.

      Regarding pink crocs- go with it. I’ve been wearing pink dress shirts / ties for more than a decade now. The effect is gone now but it was pretty entertaining back in 1999.

  5. I really don’t get the whole notion that pink is gay. I will say that crocs are about the most unfashionable thing you could ever consider putting on your feet, and I would rather walk over glass barefoot than wear a pair of crocs but that is beside the point. The simple fact is that I’ve been wearing pink since I was a toddler, and I love the color. Perhaps it was because my father was unafraid to wear pink or because when you dress well it is acceptable, but I haven’t had a problem with people being that rude and inconsiderate since junior high.

    It is true that in middle school and junior high kids would call me gay or faggot or whatever for a whole host of reasons — including my penchant for pinks, purples, and pastels — but that hasn’t been a problem since. To be honest, I think more men would benefit from wearing pink and purple. Not from a lets-make-it-more-acceptable standpoint but based on the fact that the colors are very flattering.

    Pink goes extremely well with white, it looks great on all skin tones, it is a color that looks amazing in just about every fabric, and it pairs well with a whole host of other colors. With purple, you’ve got a wide range of shades (I’m wearing a lavender dress shirt today) that also pair with most colors and work with most fabrics.

    Soft colors like pink, purple, and other pastels give off a great vibe. They are friendly and welcoming and not intimidating. They’re also great summer colors! If someone tells me I look gay wearing my pink searsucker shorts, tassel loafers, and a white dress shirt, I take that as a compliment because it means I am very well put together.

  6. I’m surprised no marketing genius has tried to spin the color differently. Calling it “pink” is the problem. I’m sure if someone came up with a different, more overtly masculine sounding name, guys would be all over it. Don’t call it pink, call it “wild salmon” or “lung” or “musk orange” or something like that. Don’t call them crocs, call them something like “workshop shoes” or “feet gloves.”

    Canola oil used to be called “rapeseed” oil. The “orange roughy” fish used to be called a “slimehead.” It’s not overcast outside, it’s “filtered sunlight.” Et cetera, et cetera.

  7. First of all, that’s amazing you got such homophobic pushback. Kind of terrible. Since the early 40′s Pink was designated for girls…being like a girl is gay. Homophobia and misogyny are best friends. Note the pink triangles used in Nazi prison camps. I’m sure after that was discovered no fellow wanted pink associated with him.

    Second, pink used to be for boys as back as far as the early 1900′s.


    “For example, a June 1918 article from the trade publication Earnshaw’s Infants’ Department said, “The generally accepted rule is pink for the boys, and blue for the girls. The reason is that pink, being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl.” Other sources said blue was flattering for blonds, pink for brunettes; or blue was for blue-eyed babies, pink for brown-eyed babies, according to Paoletti.”

    Colors are colors. People decided that determining gender by color was the way to go, thereby limiting everyone’s fashion freedom.

  8. Great piece, Steven. We need to keep bringing attention to this ridiculous stereotyping that makes no sense. There was actually a time, in the early 20th Century, when pink was considered masculine (a shade of red) and blue feminine. So there is no rhyme or reason to the color-coded gender identification. Don’t know if you saw my article here on GMP that showed two rattles–one sold for little girls which was in the shape of a pink diamond ring and the other a blue hammer for boys (of course). http://goodmenproject.com/gender-sexuality/gender-stereotyping-begins-in-infancy/ This is where it starts. While it may seem harmless for infants, it then gets followed up by an onslaught of gender-specific merchandising and marketing. We’ve all fallen into that rut and so it is hard for some to climb out. My company, Princess Free Zone, Inc., seeks to remove those stereotypes by offering an alternative to “princess” for little girls. Thanks for your perspective.

  9. Anonymous Male says:

    You encountered a lot of stupid, juvenile assumptions:
    1. Pink is a “gay” color.
    2. “Looking gay” is a bad thing.
    3. You can’t look “gay” and “masculine” at the same time. (“Bears,” anyone?)
    4. Never let anyone doubt your heterosexuality, ever.

    It’s silly that in the twenty-first century anyone past the age of junior high school cares about looking or not looking “gay.” If a guy is obsessed with “not looking gay,” then he still has some growing up to do, and/or he needs to expand his circle of friends. I think of being a man as someone who doesn’t worry about his masculinity, who’s secure in who he is. If you worry about maintaining a lockstep, straight image, you are not secure in yourself. Besides, you know who else is eternally vigilant about looking totally straight? Closeted gay men….

  10. I was out with my gay friend on Cape Cod, close to Nantucket. We came across someone wearing pink Crocs (maybe it was you). I rolled my eyes and silently thought about what a douchebag he looked like, wearing such ugly shoes. Wanna know what my gay, male friend said?

    “Those are so gay.”

    Wearing those shoes doesn’t make you more of a man any more than those shoes make you gay. They’re just shoes. Ugly, ugly shoes.

    The point is you look like an attention-seeking idiot. And you are specifically seeking attention, as you admit you’re buying more pink Crocs in order to get a rise out of even more people. You’re about as enlightened as the idiots calling you a faggot.

  11. Actually, my favorite response came from a gay friend of mine in my MFA program. He thought the whole ‘pink crocs look gay’ thing was hilarious. “No gay man would ever be caught dead in shoes that ugly” he told me. “We prefer good Italian loafers.”

  12. Daddy Files, while I agree with you that the shoes are pretty ugly (Mario Batali rocking them doesn’t make them any more attractive), I disagree with you calling Steven an “attention seeking idiot.” People wear clothes for many different reasons, and being able to express yourself and opinions is one of them. Often it brings attention, as it should. Clothes are a legitimate form of self expression. Maybe you wear a nice tie to bring about positive attention from your boss. Maybe you add a bit of yourself into it by choosing your favorite color or a funny theme. Maybe you wear a t-shirt with an inside joke from your favorite tv show. Maybe you wear one endorsing a political candidate. Maybe you’ve lost or gained some weight and dress differently to show off your hot new look, and feel awesome about yourself while doing it. Maybe you’re an artist and make your own jewelry, hoping that it both brings attention and express who you are. There’s nothing wrong with wearing clothing to bring attention to or test a point of view, a look, a brand, or a propensity towards a certain decade.

    • Exactly. We all want to express ourselves as individuals in some way. I express my individuality through dancing and writing. Some people express themselves through clothes. There is absolutely nothing wrong with self-expression.

  13. I like the color pink, but I got called ‘faggot’ enough growing up. such an incredibly moronic society we live in.

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  15. My husband, when he was a young man in his early 20s, went to a bar in the Village with his best friend….he was wearing a lavender muscle tee, faded jeans, and a pink bandana hanging out of a back pocket and sipping a cocktail….he couldn’t understand why so many gay men were coming onto him! His best friend guffaws every time he tells this story….!

  16. I’ve been wearing them for years ever since my wife challenged me. Mens’ size 13 in pink don’t sell, so the Birkenstock store in Key West sells them to me at half price, and I recently got four pairs at $17.50 a pair. Footwear for two years, and I figure anyone freaked by my Crocs is too boring to talk to.


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