When Oklahoma local Cody Barlow shared a photo on social media for Pride Month, he had no idea just how many people would be moved by such a simple gesture.
Barlow, who identifies as straight, uploaded a photo on June 7th showing a large rainbow sign stuck across the rear of his pickup truck. Along the top, the sign reads: "Not all country boys are bigots", with "Happy Pride Month" added at the bottom.
"Found a way to show my support for pride month," he wrote.
"I simply bought rolls of brightly colored duct tape and ran them across my tailgate in the design of the pride flag, and added some mailbox letters."
Barlow continued, explaining why he felt compelled to make such a visible statement in a typically conservative part of the world.
"This is important to me, not only because I have family and friends that are LGBTQ+, but also because countless people have dealt with hatred and judgement simply for who they are, and/or who they love, for far too long," he wrote.
"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."
In less than a week, the Facebook post has been shared over 80,000 times and had close to 150,000 likes.
"I live in a rural area in Oklahoma, surrounded by small towns in every direction, and 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," the ally wrote.
"It doesn't matter what negativity I receive for supporting this. I hope that this can help even the slightest bit to encourage and support at least one person that needs it."
He added: "I hope everyone finds their inner strength to finally live life loud and proud without regard for the negativity of ignorant people."
Now that's how you become a visible ally in the areas that need it most.