After Trump Tells White Supremacists Proud Boys To ‘Standby’ At Debate, Gay Men Take Over #ProudBoys To Show Their Love
After President Donald Trump told the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by” during the Tuesday presidential debate, gay men have taken over #ProudBoys on Twitter to show that their love is stronger than the organization’s hate.
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 trend started because famous actor, George Takei, posted a photo with his husband. The famous couple garnered not only thousands of likes, but also thousands of copycats who wanted to show off their pride.
— Canadian Forces in 🇺🇸 (@CAFinUS) October 4, 2020
— Rick Lockhart II (@ricklockhartii) October 5, 2020
— Benjamin Cohen (@benjamincohen) October 5, 2020
Of course, in true Twitter fashion, the hashtag has also begun to flood with memes.
However, there are also plenty of Twitter users against the trend – not necessarily because they are homophobic, but because the trend may not be as subversive or revolutionary as some posters think.
The humor of white gays using the Proud Boys hashtag like they aren’t some of the biggest bigots on this Earth is not lost on me.
— Phillip Henry (@MajorPhilebrity) October 4, 2020
but some of those white gays are also apart of the proud boys. this is dumb https://t.co/JDGw0cfCtC
— kev. 🏳️🌈 ᵇˡᵐ (@phxodisiac) October 4, 2020
You have to stop using this proud boys hashtag as a selfie trend, because it will tell the Twitter/Instagram algorithm that it’s a popular thing
So when you all get bored of it by Tuesday these social media platforms will still be trying to promote the racist shit on that tag
— Chris 🎃 Trash Goblin Witch 🧙🏻♂️ (@DigisectChris) October 4, 2020
white gays need to stop calling themselves proud boys yall are making me nervous
— ꧁bruja baby꧂ (@wavvesux) October 4, 2020
Enrique Tarrio, chairman of the organization’s Florida chapter, claimed that the takeover didn’t bother the group because they “don’t care who people sleep with,” but the group’s posts on social media site Parler said otherwise.
Tarrio has made similar statements about the Proud Boys in the past, most recently vehemently denying that the organization was a hate group despite their members’ hate speech and their role in events such as the KKK and neo-Nazi dominated “Unite the Right” Charlottesville rally.
Having been banned from Twitter since 2018, however, there is very little Tarrio and the other Proud Boys can do to dispel their bad name or reclaim their hashtag on the site, which is continuing to flood with photos and videos of LGBTQ+ boys flaunting their pride.