Gay men reclaimed the label “proud” over the weekend, taking over the Twitter hashtag from the far-right Proud Boys who have been causing havoc and violence in the Pacific Northwest.
The hashtag, trending all weekend, was not populated by hate-filled messages and, since President Trump refused to condemn white supremacists during Tuesday’s debate, calls to “stand by,” but rather with joyous photos and stories from gay men.
“What if gay guys took pictures of themselves making out with each other or doing very gay things, then tagged themselves with #ProudBoys,” George Takei tweeted with the hashtag “reclaiming my shine.” “I bet it would mess them up real bad.”
The Proud Boys, founded by Vice co-founder Gavin McInnes, have been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and its members have been accused of growing violence, particularly around Portland.
Despite that, the group got a seemingly positive order from the president during the debate.
“Proud Boys, stand back and stand by,” he said after moderator Chris Wallace asked him to denounce them and other white supremacist groups.
— Canadian Forces in 🇺🇸 (@CAFinUS) October 4, 2020
Members quickly rallied around the directive.
“President Trump told the proud boys to stand by because someone needs to deal with ANTIFA … well sir! we’re ready!!” organizer Joe Biggs wrote on Telegram, according to NBC News.
Kate Feldman, New York Daily News
Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.