LGBTQ+ People Hijack ‘Proud Boys’ Hashtag To Drown Out Racist Posts
The LGBTQ+ community is hijacking the ‘Proud Boys’ hashtag in a bid to drown out racism and bigotry.
Described as a male-only ‘western chauvinist’ organisation that ‘refuses to apologise for creating the modern world’, the far-right, fascist, anti-immigrant militia, Proud Boys can be found at rallies for US President Donald Trump, adorned in MAGA hats and black-and-yellow polo shirts. They were established in 2016 by Vice Media co-founder Gavin McInnes.
It’s a modern-day gang essentially, using humour to mock leftist policies and notions. As per the Anti-Defamation League, the group has been branded ‘violent, nationalistic, Islamophobic, transphobic and misogynistic’. Now, the LGBTQ+ community is stripping them of their online power.
All across Twitter, #ProudBoys is now laced with photos of gay icons; both famous celebs and everyday people standing up against racism. MSNBC’s Ali Velshi wrote: ‘The claiming of #ProudBoys by Gay Twitter may be the best thing to happen in 2020.’
Another user wrote: ‘My husband and I were married this summer after 18 years together. Marriage wasn’t legal when we met. It was a day I never let myself dream of and yet it happened. We’re just two #proudboys and are so thankful to be able to live as a married couple.’
A third tweeted: ‘The Nazi hashtag #ProudBoys is being hijacked by the gay community and honestly, this is my favourite part of 2020.’ Author John Pavlovitz wrote: ‘The #ProudBoys don’t deserve to be associated with gay men. Gay men have courage.’
The idea was kickstarted by Star Trek’s George Takei, who wrote on October 1: ‘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.’
Over the past few days, it’s been trending on Twitter, as thousands of gay men post pictures of themselves either on their own or with their partner. ‘Gay men taking over the #ProudBoys hashtag is EXACTLY what I needed today. Seriously, this is fucking phenomenal,’ another commented.
During the first live US presidential debate between Trump and Joe Biden, the POTUS was asked to condemn white supremacist groups. He went on to say: ‘Proud Boys, stand back and stand by… but I’ll tell you what, somebody’s got to do something about ANTIFA and the left.’
Soon after, the organisation started selling merchandise emblazoned with the words ‘stand back and stand by’.
Two days after the debate, Trump told Fox News: ‘I’ve said it many times, let me be clear again, I condemn the KKK. I condemn all white supremacists. I condemn the Proud Boys. I don’t know much about the Proud Boys, almost nothing, but I condemn that.’
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, contact the LGBT Foundation on 0345 3 30 30 30, 10am–6pm Monday to Friday, or email [email protected]
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk
CreditsAnti-Defamation League/Twitter and 2 others