Community Issues

Man's Message of Acceptance is Getting Attention Worldwide

He attacks bigotry with a little courage, some colorful duct tape & a Facebook post.

Cody Barlow says he was just looking for a way to show his support for pride month in his small, rural Oklahoma town. But his message spread a little further. Actually, a lot further.

Barlow, who identifies as straight, bought some rolls of brightly colored duct tape and ran them across the tailgate of his Chevy Silverado to look like a rainbow pride flag. He added mailbox letters to say "Not all country boys are bigots. Happy Pride Month."

Then he posted a picture on his Facebook page.

"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," he wrote. "I'm sure this is not a very welcome message around here, but this is going to be displayed on my truck for the entire month of June in support of pride month."

Indeed, the first comments on Barlow's post were anti-LGBTQ+, to the point where he told CNN he was thinking about taking it down . But once the post spread on social media, the reaction turned decidedly positive. As of this writing the post has 126,000 likes, 75,000 shares and 18,000+ comments, some from overseas.

"People are sending me these stories, telling me what they've dealt with over the years," Barlow told CNN. "I didn't realize what kind of impact this was going to have."

"I hope everyone finds their inner strength to finally live life loud and proud without regard for the negativity of ignorant people." Cody Barlow
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