Two very different groups of men are at war on the internet today: the far-right cadre known as the Proud Boys—and the thousands of gay Twitter users who flooded that platform with pro-LGBT images, marking those posts with #proudboys.
The hashtag trended in North America throughout Sunday with gay Twitter users sharing images of themselves, their spouses and other gay people. Several celebrities added their voices to the mix, including Star Trek’s George Takei.
“We’re proud of all the gay folks who have stepped up to reclaim our pride,” Takei wrote, posting a picture of himself and his husband Brad. It received nearly 75,000 likes. “Our community and allies answered hate with love.”
The official Twitter account of the Canadian Armed Forces in the United States took part, too, tweeting a picture of two men kissing—one a corporal named Brent Kenny—with #proudboys. “Love is love,” the group wrote in a reply tweet. (It was perhaps not a surprising piece of activism from an institution that describes itself in its Twitter bio as: “Nice people. Maple syrup.”) The Canadian Navy’s Twitter account later retweeted the image, as did the account for the ship that Kenny sailed on, the Winnipeg.
The demonstration that Takei and the others took part in is a response to the spotlight recently put on