I was lucky enough to be invited to get some beers with the Vancouver Proud Boys the other night, following an event where Maxime Bernier spoke in town (a former member of Canada’s Conservative party who’s started a new political party with a Make Canada Great Again kind of vibe to it, lovely guy). Prior to meeting them, I asked the guy who invited me and Senior Editor S. probably a dozen times if he was sure it was okay that I joined them, seeing as I don’t fit the only requirement to join them: I was not born male. He insisted that it was; it wasn’t an official Proud Boys meeting, just a bunch of them getting together to hang out, girlfriends and wives welcome. He assured me that as a local right-wing activist, I’d be fine to come.

I figured I’d share a little story about my experience because the Proud Boys have such a bad rap in this city, especially among young women. As has been stated before, Vancouver is a very liberal city, and not being a Leftist and being a Nazi are basically the same thing here. Who I met last night were a really awesome group of guys, who certainly don’t deserve the reputation they have – especially considering many of their haters are Antifa sympathizers. I want other young women in particular to understand they’re not anti-women or sexist in the slightest, and to understand the way the media has painted them out to be couldn’t be farther from the truth.

I don’t remember the last time I had such a good time with a bunch of people I just met. I used to be quite well known in Vancouver’s underground art scene, constantly going to parties and meeting new people, but there was always something phony about the people I would meet at those events. You really had to watch what you said all the time – to establish yourself as smart and worthy of being the person to talk to, for the sake of networking as a young creator, as well as to make sure your politics were in line with everybody else’s. Very genuine conversations of a personal but not political nature happened sometimes when we were all drunk at 2AM, but nothing resembling political and cultural issues could be discussed unless you were coming in from a very far-left perspective. Otherwise, you get branded as alt-right and not invited back.

Even with ‘cool’ people by local standards, you still have to test the waters and gently introduce conversational topics, slowly wading your way up to the serious stuff, making sure you don’t offend them by getting too real along the way. I don’t really know anybody that I can just jump into the deep end with, talking about the truths of all the major topics of our time: racism, feminism, abortion, #MeToo, cultural appropriation, men’s rights, political correctness, LGBT rights, liberal media bias, Islam.

It was such a relief to be able to do that jumping into the deep end for just a night. We yelled across the table enthusiastically about these oh-so-unnecessarily-controversial topics, making ‘inappropriate’ jokes, talking openly about public figures we listened to like Stefan Molyneux and, of course, Gavin McInnes, and other figures akin to Judas to the Left. Besides myself, there was one other young woman there, the wife of a Proud Boy from Surrey. They were a lovely young couple – professionally dressed, warm and friendly. There was maybe another ten men there, of various ethnic backgrounds and ages. Me and the other young woman were treated very kindly by everybody else there, were not silenced or spoken over, and felt included in what was going on.

Of course, the Proud Boys are a large organization consisting of men of different beliefs. I got into a mild, friendly debate with one of them on something I fundamentally don’t believe in, but it remained incredibly civil. I think this is why the Left really despises the Proud Boys so much – they have so much they could learn from them. They don’t like the idea that a group of people from the Right can come together, have a good time, and stay good-natured when they disagreed, since they are so incapable of doing that themselves. Leftist values blow over when questioned, and therefore no actual examination of their beliefs can occur if they want to maintain them.

It’s also worth noting the difference in how the Right comes together, versus how the Left comes together. The Proud Boys are fun, friendly, humorous and good-natured. But I’ve never seen a left-wing political activism group come together and be anything besides seething with rage. I don’t know about you, but I think I’ve chosen the right side. The side that laughs and loves each other, is willing to disagree but remain civil, the side that stands up for what it believes in without harassing others. I had a really great night last night, and I’m hoping I’ll be as lucky as to hang out with them again sometime.

-Senior Editor A.