“You can’t change the way you are or who you fell in love with … We support Uncle Poodle and all the other poodles in the world too.”
— TLC reality star Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson in a statement publicized by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation on Oct. 19, Spirit Day, when people were encouraged to wear purple to oppose anti-LGBT bullying. Alana’s gay Uncle Poodle, aka Lee Thompson, gave an in-depth interview to GA Voice in our Oct. 12 issue. (GLAAD.org, Oct. 19)
“Being gay in the South, people don’t like it. Why? You have homophobes who want to beat you and bully you and name-call you … I am wearing purple today to let every youngster and teen know that is OK to be who you are. Don’t let nobody change that.”
Lee Thompson, known to fans of the TLC reality program “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” as “Uncle Poodle,” released a video through media watchdog GLAAD over the weekend to promote LGBT Spirit Day, which was Oct. 19.
In the video, Thompson says he was the victim of bullying while in school and had suffered broken bones and a dislocated jaw from gay bashings.
"Growing up as a kid, I was bullied day in and day out, broken ribs, dislocated jaw, cars vandalized, I've had cars vandalized to this day," Thompson says.
Four months ago, 29-year-old Lee Thompson moved back to his hometown of Milledgeville, Ga., where he grew up with his two brothers. After moving around the last few years, most recently living in Birmingham, Ala., Thompson was looking forward to settling back into a familiar environment.
But things are a little different these days.
“I was at the Wal-Mart in Forsyth, getting ready to check out. And this woman kept following me, like it was obvious she was following me. Finally, I turned to her and said, ‘Ma’am, can I help you with something?’ and she said, ‘Can I ask you a question?’ I told her if her question was if I’m Uncle Poodle, yes I was. She said, ‘Can I get my picture with you?’, and she was so excited, she said her husband wasn’t gonna believe it. That’s how it goes now.”