Chicken-Fried News: A for Ally 

click to enlarge INGVARD ASHBY
  • Ingvard Ashby

Oklahoma is in a unique position to have its interesting news and images go viral across the country and world because the vast majority of outsiders think the state — especially rural areas — is lucky to have electricity or monolithic conservative viewpoints.

Hulbert resident Cody Barlow became an internet sensation when he posted a photo of his 1991 Chevrolet Silverado with a rainbow on its tailgate and the message “Not all country boys are bigots. Happy Pride Month.”

Barlow posted the photo to his Facebook page after he missed the Pride parade in Tulsa, hoping to share a message of compassion, he said in an interview with CNN.

The Facebook post has received over 130 thousands positive “likes” and been shared over 78 thousand times. His photo also made it to the front page of Reddit.

“I was trying to reach anyone it would help,” Barlow, who identifies as heterosexual, said in an interview with CNN. “People are sending me these stories, telling me what they’ve dealt with over the years, telling me they were tearing up and crying while reading the post.”

He said that initially, the post was hit with negative comments from people in surrounding communities and he considered deleting it, but eventually, positive comments began flowing in like a wave.

“I realized that anything that comes my way doesn’t affect me on a personal level in the same way it affects the LGBTQ community. This is the kind of stuff they have to deal with all the time," he said.

Cis privilege recognized, Cody. That’s the kind of true compassion that makes the world a better place, not the sanctimonious kind. In celebration of the full-spectrum LGBTQIA+ community this Pride Month (and every other month), Barlow gets an A for ally.

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