Social media in the past few days has turned rainbow, following former Star Trek actor and LGBTQI rights activist George Takei taking to Twitter suggesting a rather marvellous way to drown out the rhetoric and steal some of the limelight from far right, white supremacist group The Proud Boys.

“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 tweeted on October 2. 

It comes after US President Donald Trump last week refused to publicly condemn the group during the first presidential debate against Joe Biden. When asked by the debate moderator if he would condemn white supremacist and militia groups that have showed up at some protests Trump simply replied. “Sure, I’m willing to do that. But I would say almost everything I see is from the left wing, not from the right wing…. Proud Boys, stand back and stand by.” 

Self-describing themselves as a “western chauvinist” organisation and The Proud Boys have publicly broadcast white supremacist messaging since their founding in 2016.

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 Since Takei’s post, the term #ProudBoys has been tweeted close to 90,000 times, including by a number of high profile organisations including the Canadian armed forces, who tweeted a photo of one of their members kissing another man accompanied by the caption, “If you wear our uniform, know what it means. If you’re thinking about wearing our uniform, know what it means.”

Speaking with CNN the chairman of The Proud Boys, Enrique Tarrio, said he was not sure what social media users were trying to achieve.

“I think it’s hysterical,” said Tarrio. “This isn’t something that’s offensive to us. It’s not an insult. We aren’t homophobic. We don’t care who people sleep with.

“One of the messages they want to send with this is that they’re trying to drown out our supporters, they’re trying to silence us,” he added. “When you’re trying to drown out other people’s thoughts, I don’t think there’s anything progressive about that.”

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