‘They thought they were being gay as in homosexual but they were just being gay as in lame,’ Gavin McInnes, founder of the Proud Boys, tells me.

Since Saturday night the #ProudBoys hashtag has trended on Twitter — accompanied by photos of gay couples snogging, LGBTs flaunting their gayness, and a fresh dump of those milquetoast, cringe-inducing memes of the political left.

The ‘real proud boys’ gay campaign comes after the Proud Boys group made national headlines last week. During the first presidential debate on Tuesday, Democrat nominee Joe Biden and moderator Chris Wallace insisted that Trump condemned the multi-ethnic, pro-Trump men’s group as an example of rampant ‘white supremacy’.

With all the media attention swirling around the quite gay-sounding conservative fraternal order, the left’s brain trust was quick to try to drown out the group’s free publicity and replace it with their own indefatigable message of Love ™ and Tolerance ™, in case anyone is still buying that.

‘Seeing the hashtag was so uplifting,’ one poster named Matt Dechaine told CNN. ‘It feels like the movement for positive change for all is gathering momentum all the time and I’m glad to be a small part of it. By coming together rooted in respect and love for each other, the world can be so much better!’

Yet the Proud Boys have never had an issue with gays. ‘We do not discriminate based upon race or sexual orientation/preference,’ the group’s website states.

‘It’s the most embarrassing self-own the left has ever done, because it shows how lazy and uninformed they are,’ McInnes says. ‘Gays are represented in Proud Boys more than in the population because when they’re MAGA, the gay community rejects them. We don’t reject any men.’ McInnes has since stepped down from the group to assume a sort of president-emeritus role.

The Proud Boys have earned a reputation in the media for enjoying a good all-out brawl. If fisticuffs is their favorite pastime, the gays might be quite at home in the organization. Gay-on-gay violence is rampant, according to a new study. Sexual minorities experienced a rate of 71.1 violent victimizations per 1,000 persons a year, compared with 19.2 per 1,000 a year among non-sexual and gender minorities. The acts of violence are overwhelmingly committed by people close to the victims who are also sexual minorities, the report found. And according to the CDC, 44 percent of lesbians, compared to 35 percent of straight women, experience domestic violence in their lifetime.

The Proud Boys largely flew under the radar of mainstream media and Democrat politicians until October 2018, just ahead of the midterms. At that time, mobs of Democrats were storming the steps of the Supreme Court, outraged by the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Court. In reaction, President Trump tweeted ‘Jobs Not Mobs’ and, in doing so, forced cable news anchors to half-heartedly address their party’s mob problem. Even the New York Times published an interactive story tracing the ‘Jobs Not Mobs’ slogan.

The left needed a counter narrative, badly, and the Proud Boys, with their polo shirt uniforms and stench of working-class menace, were the perfect target. The focus needed to shift from communist mobs to Nazi street gangs. That month, McInnes gave a speech at the Metropolitan Republican Club in Manhattan, attended by dozens of Proud Boys. The night before, following a week of harassing phone calls, left-wing agitators caused over $6,000 in damages to the clubhouse when they smashed windows, glued locks shut, and spray painted graffiti. The vandals also left a manifesto, ‘Tonight we put the Republican party on notice,’ it began. ‘Our attack is merely a beginning. We are not passive, we are not civil.’

After the event, a handful of antifa members ambushed a group of Proud Boys as they left the venue en route to a bar. A fight broke out on the street. After footage of the fight was posted to social media, Gov, Cuomo, Mayor De Blasio, and then-New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood posted nearly identical tweets about ‘hate’, naming the Proud Boys, and coming to the defense of the antifa instigators. Two Proud Boys, Maxwell Hare and John Kinsman, are now serving four years in New York State prisons because of the melee, in which no injuries were reported and no police reports were filed from either side. The antifa members were never identified by police.

I attended that event on a press pass from the Met Club, even donning one of the Proud Boys’ signature polo shirts for fun. Inside the packed event, I ran into three interracial gay couples I knew from New York’s right-wing party circuit. Beforehand the Proud Boys invited me, an evident homosexual, to pre-drink with them at a bar down the street.

I arrived to find a stack of about 30 pillows piled up in the corner. It was a gag. In anticipation of antifa mobs showing up with bike locks, pepper spray, glass bottles full of urine, and other weaponry, the Proud Boys could say with feigned naivete, ‘I thought we were here for a pillow fight.’

‘The best part will be watching the media the next day say, “pillows are racist”,’ one Proud Boy said to me that night.

Or, perhaps, the left could snigger about the Proud Boys being a bunch of pillow-biters. The hollow torchbearers of LGBTQQAI2S+ are the first to mock the Proud Boys as a secret gay club for closeted homosexual men, even at the expense of exposing their own hypocrisies and homophobia.

The day after the June 2016 Islamic terrorist attack at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, a gay joint, which left 49 people dead, McInnes, who was still leading the Proud Boys then, showed up outside the club with gay provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos. Surrounded by cameras, the two shared a heavy, slobbering open-mouth kiss. A few days later, on social media, a hashtag trended alongside images posted by gay couples kissing one another — a display of resilience, or whatever, in the aftermath of the massacre.

‘Gays were kissing their boyfriends in the safety of their own living room. Like that takes any balls. Milo and I did it in front of the nightclub where the attack happened,’ McInnes says. ‘Israelis like the Proud Boys because we stand up against radical Islam. Gays should be the same’.

Jacob Engels, a gay blogger from Florida, also showed up to the Pulse Memorial that month with a group of Proud Boys, only to be harassed by liberals who recognized their trademark polo shirts, he says.

‘The Proud Boys were extremely supportive and have visited Pulse each year to lay down flowers and pay their respects,’ Engels told me.

A source within the Proud Boys says the local chapters are using the hashtag to recruit more pro-Trump gay men, calling the initiative ‘Strike while the iron’s gay’. He also says interest in membership has soared since Biden’s comments during the debates. In one day the organization sold $28,000 worth of t-shirts.

‘I’m not exaggerating, I have more members in vetting right now than I do in my chapter. And that’s pretty much across the board’, Proud Boys chairman Enrique Tarrio told me.

Those gleefully ‘owning the cons’ with weekend selfies amounted to little more than yet another daily swarm of digital gnats having a feeding frenzy on Twitter. Who cares? The hashtag was mere online ephemera, buried and gone as quickly as it appeared, but the Proud Boys began as, and very much remain, a drinking club: an in-person, as opposed to online, brotherhood.