Proud Boys, the far right group who came to greater public attention when Donald Trump name checked them during the recent Presidential debate, have seen their hashtag taken over by gay couples fighting back against their bigotry.
The group have been deemed “misogynistic, Islamophobic, transphobic, and anti-immigration” by the Anti-Defamation League, they have also take part in anti-LGBTQ+ and pro-Nazi events. During the recent debates when Trump was asked to denounce the white supremacist groups that support him, he instead stated, “Proud Boys – stand back and stand by.”
The group where delighted with the namecheck, even sharing Trump’s words on their own social media. The gay community however, had their own response.
I wonder if the BTS and TikTok kids can help LGBTs with this. What if gay guys took pictures of themselves making out with each other or doing very gay things, then tagged themselves with #ProudBoys. I bet it would mess them up real bad. #ReclaimingMyShine
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) October 1, 2020
Many in the community suggested taking over the Proud Boys hashtag on social media. This included gay activist George Takei who shared with his followers, “What if gay guys took pictures of themselves making out with each other or doing very gay things, then tagged themselves with #ProudBoys. I bet it would mess them up real bad.”
FIFTY-TWO years together, married in 2005 and twelve cats and six houses later, still together! pic.twitter.com/SHFlduGNmo
— Donald C McNeilly (@greenscreen172) October 5, 2020
Soon social media was flooded with gay couples using the hashtag. Even the Canadian Armed Forces got in on the act, sharing a picture of Corporal Brent Kenny kissing his boyfriend. Stories and images of marriages, happy families, loving couples and friends having fun, filled Twitter.
???️? #ProudBoys pic.twitter.com/rEFL7xIqXu
— Canadian Forces in ?? (@CAFinUS) October 4, 2020
It seems like the action is having exactly the desired affect. The far right group are currently blocked from Twitter due to their toxic behaviour, but they shared their anger on other social media accounts with furious homophobic slurs, threats and Nazi imagery. All for nothing, as they were by far outdone by the positive expressions of love and celebration.
When I met this man we weren’t allowed to marry. The law changed & we had our trip to the registry office & our official day of love because society changed -is still changing- thanks to all the brave allies of all genders & loving families & #ProudBoys #LoveMakesTheWorldGoRound pic.twitter.com/rOQTJ07bP5
— Damian Barr (@Damian_Barr) October 4, 2020
In homegrown news, a Proud Boys Ireland Twitter account has just launched, where the organisers share “We are proud of supporting people less fortunate than us regardless their/our race, ethnicity, nationality, class, caste, religion, belief, sex, gender, language, sexual orientation, gender identity, sex characteristics, age, health or other status.”
The reclaiming of #ProudBoys is wonderful. Here’s me and my husband. Together for 20 years and married for 3. Both very proud boys. pic.twitter.com/U2Dj95wpxy
— Matt Dechaine ? (@mattdechaine) October 4, 2020
#proudboys My husband and me on vacation this year. Git cha some a that! pic.twitter.com/gDr2XcYMfM
— JCMaps (@jc_maps) October 5, 2020
I’m proud of the #ProudBoys in my extended family. Ray and Joe were together 55 years. They were married August 1st 2013, the day same sex marriages became legal in Minnesota. They met in 1960. They were together 53 years before they were allowed legally to marry. pic.twitter.com/cqQykDjdED
— Andrea ???? (@ILiveOnAvenue5) October 5, 2020
George Takei posted in about the huge response sharing a picture of he and his husband. It read, “Brad and I are #ProudBoys, legally married for 12 years now. And we’re proud of all of the gay folks who have stepped up to reclaim our pride in this campaign. Our community and allies answered hate with love, and what could be better than that.”
Brad and I are #ProudBoys, legally married for 12 years now. And we’re proud of all of the gay folks who have stepped up to reclaim our pride in this campaign. Our community and allies answered hate with love, and what could be better than that. pic.twitter.com/GRtSH1ijQ8
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) October 4, 2020
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