'Not all country boys are bigots': Photo of college student's truck tailgate goes viral

A man in rural Oklahoma decked out the tailgate of his pickup truck in honor of pride month. (Photo: Facebook)
A man in rural Oklahoma decked out the tailgate of his pickup truck in honor of pride month. (Photo: Facebook)

A self-described "county boy" from Oklahoma has gone viral after he shared a message of support for the LGBTQ community on the tailgate of his pickup truck.

Cody Barlow, a student at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Okla., took to Facebook to share a photo of his truck, which he decorated for Pride Month.

"I simply bought rolls of brightly colored duct tape and ran them across my tailgate in the design of the pride flag, and added some mailbox letters," he wrote, sharing a photo of the back of his truck decked out with the colorful flag.

The message on his truck read, "Not all country boys are bigots. Happy Pride Month."

Barlow, who is straight, wrote that the message of support is one close to his heart.

"This is important to me, not only because I have family and friends that are LGBTQ+, but also because countless people have dealt with hatred and [judgment] simply for who they are, and/or who they love, for far too long," Barlow shared. "Obviously doing this isn't going to change the minds of those who are intolerant, but hopefully it can help drown out the hatred with love."

Barlow went on to explain that the message may not be welcome in his town, and the surrounding small towns, but he vowed to keep the flag on his truck for the entirety of June.

"It doesn't matter what negativity I receive for supporting this. I hope that this can help even the slightest bit to encourage and support at least one person that needs it," he wrote. "I hope everyone finds their inner strength to finally live life loud and proud without regard for the negativity of ignorant people."

Many members of the LGBTQ community and their allies commented on Barlow's post to thank him for his gesture.

"This world certainly needs lots more people like you. Being a gay country guy from one of the most homophobic states in the country (Alabama), it so refreshing and inspiring to see there are still people like you here in our crazy country. You are the example of the true humanity we need right now. Cheers from DC," one person wrote.

"You are awesome! On behalf of my husband and three daughters, thank you so, so much," one man shared.

"As a conservative Christian mother to a gender fluid adult child, I thank you for your strength, your support of your friends and family in the LGBTQ community and your show of Unconditional Love. This is the Love of God in practice. God's best blessings, Cody!" a mother wrote.

"I don't know you Cody but as someone also living in rural, small town Oklahoma-land.... YOU ARE AWESOME!!! THANK YOU!!! ~Proud straight mom of an awesome LGBTQ+ daughter!" another parent chimed in.

His post, which has been shared more than 75,000 times on Facebook, proved to be a welcomed message to many in the LGBTQ community and to those who love them.

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