Stephen Colbert on the gay mayor of small-town Vicco, Kentucky

An interesting segment from Stephen Colbert last week, that I’d heard about, but only just got to watching. It’s about Johnny Cummings, the gay mayor of small-town Vicco, Kentucky.

johnny-cummings-gay-mayor

If anything, what struck me as most interesting about the video was that I was getting a bit annoyed at the audience laughing at the Vicco locals having “hick” accents.  It just seemed a bit odd, and judging by the only sporadic laughter, others in the audience seemed to share my feeling.

Having said that, once you get to the end of the video, and see the “hicks” townspeople so supportive of the mayor, and of him being gay, you finally understand that they’re not hicks at all.  They’re pretty damn good people.  So, in retrospect, I’m kind of glad that Colbert handled the video this way.  He almost sucker-punches you into laughing at the townspeople at the beginning of the video, only to force you to reevaluate at the end.

Pretty neat video, and town.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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10 Responses to “Stephen Colbert on the gay mayor of small-town Vicco, Kentucky”

  1. conniejean says:

    I am lucky to live in Vicco. We are backwoods people with open minds. This is a town where everyone knows everyone and most of us all get along. Johnny has been the best mayor we have had. He has been taking care of this town. Giving it a much needed facelift and making things even better for everyone in it!

  2. Carmi Fisk says:

    Indeed, they are wonderful people.
    _______________________________________________________________________
    TATEMS

  3. kevinbgoode says:

    This town deserves an award from one of our big national organizations. I can’t think of anything more fitting than to honor the stories of everyday, working people in a small Appalachian town who chose to care for one of their own despite the inherent hate and fear coming from that “minister.”

  4. BeccaM says:

    I truly believe this is how we’ve made such progress in the last decade or two: By being out there, openly LGBT.

    Something I found interesting was how in Russia, 4 out of 5 Russians say they do not personally know anybody who is gay. Meanwhile, here in the U.S., only 87% say they know someone who is gay, and about half know someone gay who is close to them — a good friend or a family member.

    Both of those U.S. numbers are significantly higher than in the 90s, and waaay higher than the 70s.

    I think that being utterly ordinary and boring and mostly just like anybody else has been a powerful tool in advancing our cause.

  5. karmanot says:

    I imagine a gluttony of prejudice is breathtaking.

  6. karmanot says:

    Wonderful! Lovely good people.

  7. cole3244 says:

    how efing great was that, if i hadn’t seen it i wouldn’t have believed it.

    small town kentuk come into the 21st century and welcome aboard nice to have you.
    the pastor with the breathing device must have something to be saddled with that affliction, something he isn’t admitting to.

  8. Whitewitch says:

    Having lived in a small town in West Virginia for several years, I have to say that most of the people there were very accepting and open. Sometimes you ran into a mean-old SOB, generally though the people were caring and came to the aid of each other. And what the “minister” said didn’t always fit with how they believed. And the accent of a person doesn’t indicate their love, affection or caring.

  9. Mighty says:

    I live in rural east Texas. It is a very religious conservative area. Louie “Terror babies” Gohmert is my rep from here. That being said I and my boyfriend are breaking down barriers. We simply are living our lives. However people who have never seen or been around gay people see us. We show that we are not the boogey men they have been shown.
    I understand why lgbt people leave Texas, I can’t honestly say I never will, but I do think that by staying and just living our lives we stand a much better chance of achieving change than we do by leaving.

  10. BeccaM says:

    I personally think it’s one of the most epic feature-segment’s Colbert’s done on LGBT rights, and hits all the right notes.

    I went into it thinking what was probably the same thing: “Ha-ha-ha, Kentucky, probably gonna be a town of irrational gay-hating yokels.”

    (Yeah, I was also a little uncomfortable at how the backwoods-rural dialect and accent was played up…)

    Then you find out they don’t hate gay people at all, and that the lone voice of authority expressing anti-gay bigotry in Vicco Kentucky is this old, fat, white minister (literally) on an oxygen tank.

    And that closing monologue from the fellow in the spotted shirt… priceless.

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