The 77-year-old country super star noted, 'I have some of everybody in my own immediate family and in my circle of employees.'
Dolly Parton is continuing to share her support for LGBTQ+ rights amidst controversy over newly passed legislation in Tennessee discriminating against transgender people. When asked about Tennessee’s new anti-trans laws, the 11-time Grammy recipient admitted to The Hollywood Reporter in a recent interview that she has always tried to steer clear of “the politics of everything” in her home state. “I just want everybody to be treated good,” she said.
"I have some of everybody in my own immediate family and in my circle of employees," the 77-year-old veteran singer who grew up in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee continued, "I’ve got transgender people. I’ve got gays. I’ve got lesbians. I’ve got drunks. I’ve got drug addicts—all within my own family. I know and love them all and I do not judge."
Empathetically, the singer sees "how broken-hearted they get over certain things" within the LGBTQ+ community and understands "how real they are." Parton believes that everyone should be treated with kindness, stressing the importance of embracing diversity and letting people live their lives and be who they are. She understands how important this is to them and says, "That’s who they are. They cannot help that any more than I can help being Dolly Parton, you know, the way people know me. If there’s something to be judged, that is God’s business. But we are all God’s children and how we are is who we are."
You often see people making excuses for other's bigotry: it's just their age, their upbringing, their faith, etc.— SHANE REACTION (@imshanereaction) November 4, 2023
And then there's Dolly Parton, a 77 year old devout Christian born and raised in the bible belt of America. pic.twitter.com/1y6jQTqaPY
This isn't the first time she's stood up for the community. Back in 2016, she spoke to Pride Source revealing how she helped some of her loved ones in the coming out process but initially, she did not know any people from the community. “I didn’t know they were at the time!” she said with a laugh, “We were just mountain people, and I did not know at that time–I sure did not.” Parton has had a trailblazing 50-plus-year career as a working musician and is renowned for her philanthropic efforts and business initiatives. What fans love most about her is not just her talent but how she is able to connect with people on a human level.
We should all be more like Dolly.— Figgy Biscuits (@FiggyBiscuits) November 5, 2023
“In my early days, we did not know [what gay was]. It didn’t take me long to know that people were different and that was always fine with me,” Parton shared. “I was different too, and I embraced and accepted them and I knew them. I knew them well.” Over time she was introduced to the gay community unknowingly through her family. “Later on, I did find out I have many gays and lesbians in my own family. We accept them, we embrace them,” she revealed.
“Oh, there are some in the mountains who still don’t know quite what to make of it or how they should feel about it, but they’re ours and they’re who they are and we know they’re wonderful and they’re like us,” Parton continued, adding, “We love the fact that they are who they are and we nurture that. We don’t try to make them feel separate or different. We embrace it.”
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Parton stated that the LGBTQ+ people in her life have shaped her perspective and she's even helped them embrace themselves. “Actually, I’ve had many people through the years who I have helped to feel good about themselves. I say, ‘You need to let people know who you are and you need to come on out. You don’t need to live your life in darkness–what’s the point in that? You’re never gonna be happy; you’re gonna be sick. You’re not gonna be healthy if you try to suppress your feelings and who you are.'”
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