Fact Check

Does This Photo Show a Shirtless Mike Pence?

For years, this photo has circulated online with captions claiming that it documents Pence's "gay past."

Published Nov. 21, 2016

Image Via Facebook
A photograph shows a young Mike Pence with his chest exposed.

In November 2016, a photograph purportedly showing a young Mike Pence with his chest exposed was circulated on social media along with the claim that it documented the vice president's "gay past":

blast from past

The man pictured on the right above is not Vice President Mike Pence, nor does the person depicted particularly resemble him. The individual seen in the right-hand photo is Brad Patton, a porn actor, and the original image was shared on MySpace by a colleague, Martin Mazza:

brad patton

Several stories have also appeared concerning Mike Pence and his support of "conversion therapy" for gay people. These are somewhat inaccurate: while Pence did once support the use of federal funding to treat people "seeking to change their sexual behavior," he did not support electroshock therapy, nor did he credit conversion therapy for having saved his marriage.


Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.