The Proud Boys are steaming mad that LGBTQ+ people have co-opted their group's Twitter hashtag with images of queer love.
Members of the white supremacist organization, which is designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, took to the social media platform Parler to vent their fury about the campaign, which has sparked thousands of images in the fight against hatred.
The Proud Boys have been banned by Twitter since 2016, but about 60,000 members follow the group on Parler, an app favored by conservatives and conspiracy theorists. The main account has been spewing most of the vitriol.
However, Enrique Tarrio, chairman of the group, complained that the repurposed Twitter hashtag has turned Proud Boys into a "slur" and a way "to drown out the voices of our supporters," according to Forbes, which compiled the reactions.
One widely shared tweet from the Canadian Armed Forces in the United States of two soldiers kissing was a particular target for the group's ire.
“Fags,” wrote user @Ryanha5150. “Can’t stand gay people...should be illegal.” Other posts attacked Geoge Takei, the gay Star Trek actor who began the social media campaign last Thursday.
"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," Takei wrote on Twitter.
The Proud Boys entered the national limelight last week during the first presidential debate when President Trump told them to "stand back, stand by" in lieu of denouncing white supremacy groups. The organization initially rejoiced at the shout-out — but the mood of its members has changed drastically since the social media campaign launched.
Takei continued to spread the love on Twitter, however, with his own portrait with his husband, Brad. "Brad and I are #ProudBoys, legally married for 12 years now. And we’re proud of all of the gay folks who have stepped up to reclaim our pride in this campaign. Our community and allies answered hate with love, and what could be better than that," he said.
See his and other #ProudBoys love below.