Posts Tagged As: Dolly Parton
August 2nd, 2011
Along with an entertainment career including top-five country hits in each of the past five decades, half a dozen movies, more than 3000 songs, a themepark complex, a production company, the title of Queen of Country Music, and the respect of most everyone who’s ever worked with her.
Dolly also has a long history of supporting the gay community ranging from simple statements of inclusion (“they accept me and I accept them“) to endorsement of issues, projects with LGBT themes, support for AIDS causes, and perhaps most importantly to being the voice of comfort and love to gay kids growing up in the Bible Belt.
So when I heard that a lesbian couple accused a themepark owned by Parton of being insensitive to gay couples, I dismissed it as a misunderstanding.
On July 9, Olivier Odom and Jennifer Tipton attended Dollywood Splash Country with two children. But the ticket agent requested that Odem turn her shirt inside out so that the slogan “Marriage is so gay” not offend other customers. He noted that Dollywood is a “family park”.
And the Dollywood complex does have a “family” dress code which restricts slogans:
To preserve our family atmosphere proper clothing is required including shirts and shoes (sandals or flip-flops are acceptable). Clothing with offensive words and/or pictures will not be permitted inside the park. Guests may not wear character type costumes on park.
For decades, the word “family” has been utilized as code for “no gays allowed.” Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council, American Family Institute, Family Values Coalition, and a host of other “family organizations” have all used the slur “anti-family” to tell the world that LGBT people are not only unwholesome and dangerous but an enemy of home, hearth, and protection of children. And even secular use such as “family programming” or “family counseling” has at times defined family in ways that exclude LGBT people.
Which makes Dolly Parton’s response to the issue even more interesting:
I am truly sorry for the hurt or embarrassment regarding the gay and lesbian t-shirt incident at Dollywood’s Splash Country recently. Everyone knows of my personal support of the gay and lesbian community. Dollywood is a family park and all families are welcome. I am looking further into the incident and hope and believe it was more policy than insensitivity. I am very sorry it happened at all.
This is the appropriate response: owning responsibility, reassuring the community, and promising further review. A well crafted apology.
But there in the middle is a seemingly innocuous sentence that sets an entire industry of anti-gay activism on its ear. Lesbian couples are not welcomed as some exception to the family image, but because the Dollywood definition of “family park” already welcomes them. This is a revolutionary statement for Bible Belt mentality.
Dollywood is careful that it’s image is not like some amusement parks which seem to cater to vulgarity and crassness. No, Dollywood is a safe place designed for the family. It’s wholesome and unoffensive and protective of the innocence of children, so naturally it’s where gay families belong. Because gay people are part of what Dolly calls “family“.
And this casual presumption of inclusion in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, is what makes Dolly Parton a particularly effective ally and a truly wonderful person.
In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.
When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.
In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.
On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.
Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!
And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.
Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.
Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.
The FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.