Now that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has changed its stance and pivoted to recommending all Americans wear cloth face masks when in public, there has been a scramble to learn how to make them.
The CDC recommends using cotton fabric, which could be obtained by cutting up a t-shirt or repurposing a bandana. According to a recent study, “quilters’ cotton” appears to be among the best fabrics, if not the best fabric, to use.
Actor, producer, and director Emerson Collins skipped the shirts and bandanas and got creative—and in the process gained quite a bit of attention—with a clever tutorial on making a mask out of a jockstrap.
“The internet may be out of masks, bandanas, and scarves, but it’s not out of jockstraps!” Collins says in the video. “And yes, straight boys, you can make it with that sad, tired one you still have from high school football, or whatever.”
I made a Jockstrap Mask Tutorial, because I’m ridiculous. pic.twitter.com/JiYhV3K8uh
— Emerson Collins (@ActuallyEmerson) April 3, 2020
While many loved the humorous how-to, TikTok was apparently less amused, pulling it for “violating community rules,” according to Collins, who stressed the video was “not intended to be real guidance.”
TikTok took this down for “violating community guidelines.”
Which, seriously? It’s dumb and silly and not at all intended to be real guidance, sure, but there are dozens of bra mask videos still up so. There’s that.
— Emerson Collins (@ActuallyEmerson) April 5, 2020
Nonetheless, that hasn’t stopped others from trying their hand at recreating the look, to…uneven results.
Protected but make it fashion! Gays, face mask are sold out but I know y’all have plenty of jockstraps!
— tytanic (@tycolly) April 4, 2020
making a covid mask from underwear:
hot insta gay vs me pic.twitter.com/AmsYFfLjDK
— Kory DeSoto (@Korsoto) April 4, 2020
Some are also suggesting the gay hanky code of yore, used by gay and bisexual men to signal kinks and sexual preferences to each other, should make a comeback.
Although the follow-through will have to come with the aid of modern technology to ensure proper social distancing is followed. Unless you have something to tell your roommate.
Yes, folks, it’s finally here! How to #queer the #pandemic: use the hanky codes from 1970s #gay sex culture to spice up your homemade bandanna face mask ️Here’s a short guide from Bob Damron’s Address Book (1980) BUT: Stay 6 feet apart and/or connect by Zoom ♀️♂️ pic.twitter.com/phS6fc0lOs
— Art Blake (@ArtMBlake) April 4, 2020
There’s a cute ghost mask with rainbows on the inside:
And a mask, made by a proud mom, with rainbows on the outside:
my mom made face masks and said ! GAY RIGHTS ONLY ! pic.twitter.com/AwirOCbxUg
— jaggi (@nyompjm) April 3, 2020
Then there’s this statement piece, made using a Pride flag:
One Twitter user went a bit more macabre with it, but kept a tinge of the Pride colors as well.
If we must have an apocalypse, let us at least have a fashionable one.
— Jenna (@tweetingblonde) April 5, 2020
Others are leaning into color-coordinating their new accessory.
Am I even gay if my homemade mask doesn't work as a stylish accessory?! pic.twitter.com/UjnEIvMAdl
— Adam Del Rosso (@AdamDWeather) April 5, 2020
The pandemic has also brought out the philanthropic side of the LGBTQ community.
In one of many examples of folks stepping up, Project Q reports Barking Leather, a popular gay leather shop in Atlanta, is busy making fabric masks for health care workers and first responders.
“I went to Joann’s [Fabric & Crafts] and got some fabric, and because I’m also trying to keep my contractors employed, it gives them something to do as well,” owner Ray Stewart told the publication.
Whatever looks you’re trying to serve with your own face covering, remember to practice social distancing, stay home as much as you can, and remember to wash your hands.