Members of the LGBTQ community have taken over the Proud Boys hashtag on social media to send a message to the far-right group.
The Proud Boys gained widespread media attention following last week’s presidential debate, during which President Donald Trump refused to condemn white supremacists. Though, he did denounce them two days later, amid mounting outrage.
“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," Trump told Fox News host Sean Hannity. "I don’t know much about the Proud Boys, almost nothing, but I condemn that.”
It’s unclear who came up with the idea to reclaim “#ProudBoys,” but it seems the effort picked up steam when actor George Takei tweeted about it on Thursday.
“I wonder if the BTS and TikTok kids can help LGBTs with this,” tweeted Takei. “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.”
Takei later tweeted out a photo with his husband.
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
Since then, many gay men and others have been posting photos of themselves and their loved ones with “#ProudBoys.” The purpose – to drown out hate with messages of love and support.
Several out celebrities have taken part, including “Queer Eye” star Bobby Berk, Bravo host Andy Cohen, and actor Matt Bomer.
— Bobby Berk (@bobbyberk) October 4, 2020
— Andy Cohen (@Andy) October 4, 2020
— Matt Bomer (@MattBomer) October 4, 2020
Even the Twitter account for the Canadian Forces in the U.S. participated, posting an image with a soldier kissing his partner.
— Canadian Forces in 🇺🇸 (@CAFinUS) October 4, 2020
Here are a few more examples:
Can’t wait to marry my best friend 🏳️🌈 #ProudBoys
— Spooky Noah 👻 (@Zingpowbang) October 4, 2020
— Andy Lax (@AndyLax3) October 5, 2020
— Lace the trainer (@lacedrigg) October 5, 2020
— Nurse O (@Nurse__O) October 5, 2020
My fiancé tells me he is #proud of my accomplishments and my career as a @RoyalCanNavy Officer in the @CanadianForces.
I often remind him just how proud he makes me for being himself at home, at work and elsewhere.
— Diego Ortiz, CD 📝 (@Diego0rtiz) October 4, 2020