Country music legend Dolly Parton, 68, has been in the entertainment industry for 50 years. From her famous duets, award-winning songs, movies, special appearances, and collaborations, the East Tennessee native has proven one thing for sure – she has staying power.
Now, in a new interview with Billboard dated November 1, 2014, Parton opens up about her life, love and accepting everyone – just as they are.
It’s no secret that Dollywood, Parton’s popular Pigeon Forge, Tennessee amusement park, is a hit among the LGBT community.
“It’s a place for entertainment, a place for all families, period. It’s for all that,” Parton said. “But as far as the Christians, if people want to pass judgment, they’re already sinning. The sin of judging is just as bad as any other sin they might say somebody else is committing. I try to love everybody.”
Parton is cognizant of her career’s extensive gay following, a fact she attributes to unbiased acceptance.
“They know that I completely love and accept them, as I do all people. I’ve struggled enough in my life to be appreciated and understood. I’ve had to go against all kinds of people through the years just to be myself. I think everybody should be allowed to be who they are, and to love who they love,” she said. “I don’t think we should be judgmental. Lord, I’ve got enough problems of my own to pass judgment on somebody else.”
What makes Parton a successful businessperson?
“I’m open and I’m honest. I don’t dillydally. If there’s something going on, I just say it. Sometimes if I get mad, I’ll throw out a few cuss words just to prove my point. I’ve often said I don’t lose my temper as much as I use it. I don’t do either unless I have to because I love peace and harmony, but when you step in my territory, I will call you on it,” she explained.
Then, in true Parton form, she added, “People say, ‘Oh, you just always seem so happy.’ Well, that’s the Botox.”
Keeping up appearances is something Parton is familiar with in Nashville.
“You need to really believe in what you’ve got to offer, what your talent is – and if you believe, that gives you strength. In my early days, I would go in, and I was always over made, with my boobs sticking out, my clothes too tight, and so I really looked like easy prey to a lot of guys – just looked easy, period,” she said. “But I would go in, and if they were not paying close attention to what I was saying, I always said, ‘I look like a woman, but I think like a man, and you better pay attention or I’ll have your money and I’ll be gone.’”
Parton married longtime husband Carl Thomas Dean in 1966 and the couple has never had children. Perhaps it wasn’t meant to be, said the star.
“Early on, when my husband and I were dating, and then when we got married, we just assumed we would have kids. We weren’t doing anything to stop it,” she said. “In fact, we thought maybe we would. We even had names if we did, but it didn’t turn out that way. Now I say, ‘God didn’t mean for me to have kids so everybody’s kids could be mine.’”
After 48 years together, what marital advice does Dolly have to share with her legions of fans?
“I think it’s true of all relationships – no matter what they are – you have to respect each other. We make each other laugh,” she said.