HULBERT, Okla. – An Oklahoma man’s gesture of support for the LGBTQ community has gone viral, and now he’s speaking out about the wide range of reactions he is receiving.
Cody Barlow, from Hulbert, decided to decorate his truck for Pride Month with a rainbow flag and the words, “Not all country boys are bigots. Happy Pride Month.”
Barlow says he had no idea his message would go viral when he decided to post a photo of his truck on social media earlier this month.
“I’ve received some very emotional, very heartfelt stories of people that dealt with a lot,” Barlow told FOX 23.
In addition to receiving encouraging words, Barlow says he has also received messages of hate.
“A lot of them, I think they prefer that emotional disconnection on social media, being able to say whatever hateful things they want and they feel like there’s no repercussions for their actions,” Barlow says.
Although he is a straight man, Barlow says he knows many people in the LGBTQ community and wanted to show his support for them.
“It’s pretty clear what this means. Being a bigot is way beyond just disagreeing and keeping it to yourself. I’m talking about the ones that are out there calling people slurs, making their lives miserable, hurting them, killing them,” Barlow said.
Some members of the LGBTQ community say Barlow’s message has even had an impact on them, saying that it has caused them to take a closer look at their own biases.