If I were to turn straight, I think I’d have to try and woo Dolly Parton (and that, dear friends, is good evidence of why I’ll never turn straight). Her support of gay rights is well known, but has led to speculation from some more closed-minded corners – who can’t believe a straight person would love gay people so much – that she’s a lesbian and in a relationship with her childhood friend.
The singer and sometime actress was asked about her lovelife by ABC’s NIghtline, to which she responded, “I’ve been accused of being involved with every man I’m ever seen with or worked with. Maybe I have, maybe I ain’t. I never tell if I have. But you know people always saying that.”
She then compared lesbian rumours surrounding her to those that have swirled around Oprah and her friend Gail, “Like Gail, her friend, Judy, my friend, they just think that you just can’t be that close to somebody. Judy and I have been best friends since we were like in the third and fourth grade… We still just have a great friendship and relationship and I love her as much as I love anybody in the whole world, but we’re not romantically involved.”
Indeed Parton is a bit of a poster child for straight relationships, as she’s been married to her husband Carl Dean, for 46 years. Speculation about Parton being a lesbian may be a result of the fact that Dolly and her hubby are rarely seen together. Dean is generally publicity shy and Parton has said he’s only ever seen her perform once, but just because he doesn’t go to events with her doesn’t mean they’re not happily married.
She has long supported gay rights and even holds ‘gay days’ at her Dollywood theme park, continuing with them even after she was threatened about them by the Ku Klux Klan. Parton has even previously entered a drag queen contest anonymously as herself… and lost.