'Happy pride month!' Self-proclaimed straight country boy decks out truck with rainbow flag made of duct tape

"Not all country boys are bigots."

That's what's written across the tailgate of Cody Barlow's 1991 Chevrolet Silverado in honor of Pride Month. He decorated it with a rainbow pride flag made up -- of course -- of duct tape.

Barlow, a 28-year-old college student from Hulbert, Oklahoma, thought of it as a way to show support after he was unable to attend his local Pride Month event.

"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 on Facebook when he posted a photo. "I hope that this can help even the slightest bit to encourage and support at least one person that needs it."



When he first put the post up, he said, the responses were largely negative, and he thought about taking it down. As time went on, however, the messages of support started flooding in. Now the post is inundated with positive responses, and it's been shared tens of thousands of times.

Barlow told CNN he's aware that his message might have a different effect on some people simply because it's coming from a self-identified straight country boy who goes fishing, goes tubing on the river and takes his truck mudding for fun.

"I'm just like everybody else around here as far as what's the perceived common person," he said. "I figured using my voice and my position, people would be a little bit more understanding and open to listening to me."

Barlow said he wanted to use his voice to help those whose voices might not be heard by everyone.

"I feel like there's already a pre-conceived notion when somebody hears from a member of the LGBTQ community," he said. "It's like just they automatically judge them and don't want to hear anything they have to say."

Barlow said when he was younger, it seemed as if everyone around him was similar to him. It was only when he got older that he felt the urge to speak out for those who are different.

He has friends and family members who are LGBT+ who he called "a lot of great people who have dealt with a lot of bad things in their lives." He said that he knows members of the LGBT+ community who were abandoned by family.

"That really struck me," he said. "Around here, you don't turn your back on blood."

Barlow is planning to drive the "jacked-up" truck to pride events in Oklahoma City and Fayetteville, Arkansas later this month.

The Associated Press and CNN contributed to this report.
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