The Proud Boys recently made the headlines at Trump’s presidential debate last week when the President responded to a question about condemning white supremacy by blaming the left and antifa movement and told Proud Boys to ‘stand back and stand by’...Yikes.
But, the Twitter hashtag that the Proud Boys hold so dear was taken from them over the weekend in the most poetic justice movement so far.
The tag #proudboys started to trend over Twitter this weekend but feeds weren’t full of the usual confederate flag wearing grumps, but instead, it had been taken over by pictures of gay men. Because after all, they are 'the real #proudboys'.
Matt Dechaine, one of the men to participate in the peaceful overthrowing with a picture of himself and his husband, stated that he only intended to ‘spread joy’. He told CNN:
Seeing the hashtag was so uplifting. It feels like the movement for positive change for all is gathering momentum all the time and I'm glad to be a small part of it. By coming together rooted in respect and love for each other, the world can be so much better!
The many of the far-right group have been predictably angered at the efforts and have resorted to homophobic nonsense in an effort to push back at the movement.
On the other hand, George Takei, Star Trek actor and outspoken LGBT activist, showed his support for those really taking the pride movement literally:
We're proud of all the gay folks who have stepped up to reclaim our pride.
His comment received over 75,000 likes, after which he added that ‘Our community and allies answered hate with love’.
Even the Canadian Armed Forces in the USA took part in the movement by posting their own photo of two soldiers in a passionate embrace.
However, Enrique Tarrio, leader of both Proud Boys and the grassroots movement Latinos for Trump, claimed that he doesn’t understand what the men are trying to achieve. He told CNN:
I think it's hysterical. This isn't something that's offensive to us. It's not an insult. We aren't homophobic. We don't care who people sleep with. People think it's going to bother us. It doesn't. One of the messages they want to send with this is that they're trying to drown out our supporters, they're trying to silence us. ... When you're trying to drown out other people's thoughts, I don't think there's anything progressive about that. Why don't these people just engage?
Despite Tarrio’s thinly veiled attempt at taking the high road, the Anti-Defamation League has labelled the Proud Boys as 'misogynistic, Islamophobic, transphobic, and anti-immigration.'
And to that, we can only urge the gay community to carry on their peaceful protest.