Honey Boo Boo's beloved "Uncle Poodle" is speaking out.
Known to television audiences nationwide after his debut on the first season finale of TLC's "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo," Uncle Poodle -- whose real name is Lee Thompson -- discusses the misconceptions of being openly gay in a conservative U.S. region, as well as his newfound reality TV fame, in a revealing new interview with GA Voice.
The Milledgeville, Ga. native, who tied the knot with his husband Josh in August, notes:
"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, transgender people — around here, they’re all open about it, everybody knows it.
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.”
The 29-year-old, who says he's planning to get a tattoo that reads "Born This Way," also explains how he got his now-famous moniker from Honey Boo Boo, the pageant sensation whose real name is Alana Thompson, herself.
"We were at practice one day, getting ready for a pageant. Her coach was talking about her gay friends, and she said, ‘I love all my poodles,’" he recalls. "Alana thought she was really talking about dogs. She wanted to know how many poodles she had, and what were their names. And I said, ‘No, Alana, she’s talking about gay people.’ Well, that did it. All gay people are poodles to her now, and I’m her number one poodle.”
As for media speculation that Honey Boo Boo outed Anderson Cooper as a gay man before the CNN anchor publicly declared his own sexuality, he notes, "Oh my God, and he wasn’t even out yet! I about died. Then about a month later he came out. Not bad gaydar for a 7-year-old…but, well, look who she learned it from.”