Twitter users have reclaimed the Proud Boys hashtag with photos and tweets depicting LGBTQ love in an effort to divert attention from the controversial group. It’s not clear whose idea it was, but the campaign is believed to have taken off thanks to a push from actor George Takei, who tweeted the idea October 1.
“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,” Takei wrote.
Interest in the Proud Boys spiked days prior following the first presidential debate in which Donald Trump refused to condemn white supremacists andto “stand back and stand by.”
President Trumpand the Proud Boys two days after the Tuesday debate.
The group was created by Vice Media co-founder Gavin McInnes in 2016 and is considered a designated hate group by the civil rights advocacy group Southern Poverty Law Center. “They are known for anti-Muslim and misogynistic rhetoric,” the SPLC notes.
Since Takei’s call to action, Twitter users have shared their LGBTQ love.
Takei even tweeted his own love story.
“We’re proud of all of the gay folks who have stepped up to reclaim our pride in this campaign,” Takei tweeted about the hashtag takeover.