Right-wing extremist groups, including the Proud Boys, have plans to disrupt June Pride Month celebrations across the US.
According to Business Insider, the plans have been discussed openly across social media for at least two months.
Proud Boys are calling this disruption plan “Proud” month and state it’s a celebration of “straight pride and “Western values” that will “challenge this perversion of the Nuclear Family and Gender.”
Patriot Front is another extremist group expected to focus its attention on Pride events in June.
‘LGBTQ Stands For Let’s Go Bully The Queers’
According to social media and watchdog organisations, the goals of these extremists are “Trolling,” “triggering” and “gaslighting the libs” as well as, “taking back the meaning of pride,” “taking back June,” and stopping the “sexualizing and mutilation of our nation’s children.”
These extremists are also using social media channels to share bigoted memes and jokes as well, with one joking that “LGBTQ” stands for “Let’s Go Bully The Queers.”
Co-founder of the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism, Heidi Bierich explained, “We are seeing just a singular focus on LGBTQ people,” by these right-wing groups.
Bierich warned, “I don’t see how we don’t end up having more violence next month. It’s frankly getting a little out of control.”
“It’s a dangerous thing, because the Proud Boys are all about violence, and so are the Patriot Front. Not necessarily firearms, but with bats, shields, and — most usually — with their fists.”
‘We Don’t Know Specifically What Folks Are Planning’
Researcher for the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism Emily Kaufman warned, “We don’t know specifically what folks are planning to do on that day, but we’re likely to see some activity from potentially multiple chapters.”
“They are organizing and recruiting around the baseless, dangerous narrative that members of the LGBTQ-plus community are grooming children. Those narratives are motivating chapters across the board.”
Kaufman continued, “We see neo-Nazis, we’ve seen other white supremacist groups also participating in anti-LGBTQ-plus activity. But the Proud Boys are really the most prolific targeters of Drag Queen Story Hours and also just LGBTQ+ events generally speaking.”
“We’re not trying to scare people,” she said, “just to make sure that folks are safe — to tell them, ‘Hey, the Proud Boys might come out’.”
In December, Victoria Police arrested a 34-year-old Mount Waverley man and suspected Proud Boys member, during the protests against a drag event at the Victorian Pride Centre in St Kilda.