Gays took to Twitter over the weekend to reclaim boy pride.
In a spirited attempt to drown out hateful rhetoric from right-wing group Proud Boys, gay men and their allies posted inspirational images of life using the #ProudBoys hashtag.
“@JerickFL and I are joining thousands of gay men on social media to reclaim #ProudBoys from white supremacists and bigoted neo-nazis. Let’s replace the hashtag with images of love, positivity, and true PRIDE! Your two favorite #ProudBoys are here standing by, ready to VOTE!” tweeted Florida Rep. Carlos G. Smith on Sunday.
Smith, an Orlando Democrat, included pictures of their wedding in Puerto Rico in the post.
Support for the repurposing of the #ProudBoys hashtag was a global effort. The Canadian Forces in the U.S. account posted a photo of two uniformed men kissing.
Reclaiming the #ProudBoys hashtag was the brainchild of actor George Takei. The Star Trek legend tweeted on Oct. 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.”
The Proud Boys are designated as a general hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The group is led by Henry “Enrique” Tarrio of Miami and considers itself a social fraternity. President Donald Trump drew attention to the Proud Boys at last week’s debate when he instructed the group to “stand down and stand by.”