Little did Lee Thompson know that when he moved back to his hometown of Milledgeville, Ga., he'd become a household celebrity due to his lil' neice. Since that gal is known to millions as Honey Boo Boo (aka Alana Thompson), the star of TLC's breakout hit, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, and Lee Thompson is now best known as "Sugarbear," Alana Thompson's "Uncle Poodle," his life in middle Georgia hasn't been the same (he even gets people stopping him in Wal-Mart asking for pictures and autographs). Thompson, who says he married his husband in Georgia this past August, recently spoke with GA Voice and explained why he's a proud gay redneck:
"Things are changing. My husband and I live in Milledgeville because we want to be out in the country. I'm gay, but I'm as redneck as I can get, and we want to be somewhere we can fish and jump on a four-wheeler, go hog wallowing. There's probably 40 or 50 of us -- gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgendered people -- around here, they're all open about it, everybody knows it," he says.
"It's not like there's a gay bar here. We go to the same bars as everybody else, we're all part of the same community... If there's people who have a problem with it, they keep it to themselves, just like if I have a problem with them, I keep it to myself."
I graduated from high school in south Georgia (Lowndes County to be exact), and I have to say, it was nothing like this. Yes, the one gay bar growing up was next to the truck stop, so you'd get a mix of drag queens, trucker trolls, and military dudes. But now that we have images of trans security guards in north Georgia, and gay guys who fish and go "hog wallowing," things will never be the same. Even if they're called poodles. Hooray for redneck progress!