Gay men are flooding the Proud Boys hashtag with images of queer love to ‘reclaim our pride’ from right-wing extremists

  • Gay men are posting pictures of themselves and others, kissing, embracing, dancing, getting married, and holding up the rainbow flag with the hashtag #ProudBoys.
  • It is a campaign to drown out content from the Proud Boys, a right-wing extremist organization with ties to white supremacy. 
  • The Proud Boys gained attention in the past week after President Donald Trump told members of the organization to "stand back and stand by" during the first presidential debate.  
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When asked to condemn white supremacists during the first presidential debate on September 29, President Donald Trump told members of Proud Boys, a right-wing extremist organization, to "stand back and stand by."

In doing so, he catapulted the group, categorized as a "hate group" by the FBI for its ties to white supremacist organizing, into the spotlight. 

But in the past few days, their prominence online has been drowned out by an army of  gay men, who took to Twitter and Reddit to hijack the "ProudBoys" hashtag with images of queer love. 

The new trend is a play on words. Since the first Pride March for LGBTQ+ rights in 1970, "pride" has become synonymous with queer joy and resistance — a far cry from the realm of "Western chauvinists," as one Proud Boys co-founder described his "fraternity." 

"My husband Rob and I are two #ProudBoys. Here we are with our five wonderful children," Jon Cooper, former chair of the Democratic Coalition, tweeted along with a photo of his husband and five children. 

From wedding photos to TikToks of people voguing, queer men have obscured content related to the Proud Boys organization online, and replaced it with images of gay pride. 

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