Reba McEntire grew up in the small town of Chockie, Oklahoma and didn’t know a gay person until she was in college. However, that hasn’t stopped the singer from being a longtime ally of the community.
“It’s very upsetting,” McEntire told PrideSource, talking about gay marriage. “It’s not only for convenience or for romantic reasons – it’s for practical reasons! I get a kick out of what Dolly said: ‘Why shouldn’t they get married and be as miserable as the rest of us?’”
Recently, McEntire’s daughter-in-law Kelly Clarkson said she wouldn’t care if her kids turned out gay and McEntire said she agreed.
“What a child needs when they’re growing up is support and love, mainly love,” McEntire said. “Love can go a long, long way whether they’re gay or not. All the troubles and the problems and the obstacles that they are going to face in their lives are going to be astronomical, especially in their very young, inexperienced minds. And if they do happen to be gay, that’s going to be a harder hurdle to get over. What a parent needs to do more than anything is jump in there with love and support. You made ‘em. They’re a gift from God. Love ‘em as they are.”
She also commended country musicians like Billy Gilman, Ty Herndon and Brandy Clark for coming out.
“It’s really, really sad what they’re living with before they decide to come out,” she said. “And then why they decide to come out, and how they deal with it after they’ve come out – the pressure society puts upon them, their families and what they put upon them, whether they accept it or they don’t. You know, my new album is called Love Somebody…I wish it’d be called Love Everybody. You gotta love people for who they are. Accept them, and then go on with life.”
McEntire’s 27th studio album Love Somebody is out now.