Three years after he covered his Chevy Silverado’s tailgate with a rainbow of duct tape, Cody Barlow’s public display of allyship is still going viral. An image of Barlow’s truck received around 1,300 upvotes on Reddit’s r/PoliticalMemes forum this month, with users applauding the message Barlow added to the tailgate: “NOT ALL COUNTRY BOYS ARE BIGOTS. HAPPY PRIDE MONTH.”
The same post made its way over to the r/lgbt forum, where one commenter remarked that “the dude who drives this is definitely super f—king hot.”
“And if he isn’t, he will change everyone’s general view on what is hot,” another user replied.
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Barlow, was 28 years old and living in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, when the Tahlequah Daily Press caught up with him in June 2019. The Navy veteran was a local celebrity at the time, with his Facebook post of his truck receiving more than 21,000 comments and 81,000 shares in less than a week. Barlow had also received thousands of friend requests on the social networks, as he told the DailyPress.
“I’m glad people are still seeing the post. The ones who need to see it are the ones feeling hopeless,” Barlow added. “It’s not about the number of people it reaches; it’s about reaching the right people.”
Barlow told the newspaper that he served alongside LGBTQ sailors in the Navy and had heard stories from LGBTQ friends, and he was driven to action after seeing hate groups attract attention in the press and on social media.
“I’m a normal dude here in Oklahoma. I just try to do what I can to help out where I can,” he said.
Barlow also revealed that he actually wanted to paint the entire truck rainbow stripes for the Tulsa Pride parade, but he had family obligations that weekend. Nevertheless, he was excited to find his new online friends at other Pride events and “meet them face-to-face, shake their hands, hug them, and be in the community.”
“You don’t have to agree or go to parades,” he said. “Just stop calling people names and beating people up for who they are.”
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Barlow explained that his message was “specifically about that group of people that treat people like crap and put them down.”
“There are a lot of great people,” he said, “but a few bad ones tend to overshadow that.”