After President Donald Trump pumped up the violent right-wing Proud Boys in the first presidential debate, gay men have hijacked the street gang’s name and taken it in a very different direction.
The Proud Boys dominated headlines last week after Trump refused to condemn them and white supremacist groups during Tuesday night’s presidential debate. Instead, Trump told the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by.”
But late last week, actor George Takei supercharged an effort to seize the #ProudBoys hashtag back from the group.
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
Twitter, subsequently, did its thing.
— XCfalcon (@chucktripp74) October 1, 2020
— Christopher Ubiadas (@TheRealUbiadas) October 5, 2020
— JCMaps (@jc_maps) October 5, 2020
— Bobby Berk (@bobbyberk) October 4, 2020
Even the Canadian government joined in, with a post from the account for the Canadian Armed Forces working in the United States:
— Canadian Forces in 🇺🇸 (@CAFinUS) October 4, 2020
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
The Proud Boys tried to downplay the reversal, writing on the website Parler, “I wonder how many gay Patriots are finding out about the #ProudBoys this week and are applying for membership in our chapters.”