A torrent of LGBTI love is joyfully drowning out a hashtag intended to support a far-right men’s group known for inciting violence.
Since last week, social media has been flooded with tender images and videos of gay couples kissing and celebrating love with the hashtag #ProudBoys.
The hashtag was circulating on social media early last week in support of an extremist group known as the Proud Boys. The group’s name made headlines in the US after popping up in the first 2020 US presidential debate between incumbent US President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
During the debate Trump declined to condemn white supremacists, instead stating, “Proud Boys, stand back and stand by”. The comment was swiftly adopted as the group’s rally cry, though Trump denounced the group amid rising outrage soon after.
Since then, gay couples, LGBTI folks and allies have been joyfully hijacking the #ProudBoys hashtag. It’s now appearing all over Twitter and other social media platforms in photos and videos showing LGBTI pride and tender moments between men.
Even the Twitter account for the Canadian Forces in the United States posted the hashtag on an image with a uniformed service member kissing his partner. The tweet has since gained over 250,000 likes.
The source of this sassy rebuttal isn’t certain but LGBTI activist and Star Trek star George Takei was quick to circulate the idea. With over 3 million followers on Twitter, his message to reclaim the hashtag seems to have taken hold, proving to be a force for good.
Takei’s tweet references South Korean K-pop sensation BTS. Along with other stans of the genre, they were instrumental in punking Donald Trump earlier this year.
The lessons here? Never mess with K-pop fans and love will always win.