Country music legend Dolly Parton finally broke her silence this week about the Orlando massacre that left 49 people dead at the hands of a radical Islamic terrorist. Dolly made it clear that she is in mourning, just like the rest of America is.
“First of all, I do have a big gay following,” Dolly told reporters at a press conference in Toronto, according to Billboard. “I’m a patron saint for a lot of them guys, and it makes me feel good. All those drag queens, sometimes I see some of them look more like me than I do…As far as what happened in Orlando, that’s horrible. It wouldn’t matter what kind of club it was. It happened to be a gay, lesbian club. … And it’s a hate crime, it looks to me, is what they said.”
“I am not God. I am no judge. I just know that God loves us all,” she added. “I work with so many and hire so many people. I have thousands of people that I employ through all of my various businesses, whether it’s Dollywood or Dixie Stampede, the Lumberjack [Adventure], we hire everybody. I just think it’s terrible that people kill anybody for any reason. But the fact that you just kill somebody for being something you don’t agree with or don’t understand or accept, that’s terrible. It’s just terrible period. We should just love one another a little more, don’t you think?”
Dolly was in Toronto to promote her 60-city Pure & Simple tour and album of the same name, due out on August 19. While in the Canadian city, she was asked about her recent statement of support of the transgender community’s right to use the bathroom of the sex with which they identify, something that enraged her more conservative fans.
“First of all, we all have to live in this world,” she said. “We are all kinds of people, and I think that everybody should be protected. Everybody should be safe, everybody should be comfortable in their world, however they do, so I really think that it’s important that we as a nation and we as a people try to love each other a little better, try to look after each other a little more.”
“I know for us — it’s nothing to be flippant about it in any way — we had the first transgender bathroom when we had an outdoor toilet back home. [Laughs] And also I always joke about our waterpark at Dollywood: Everybody’s free to pee in that. [Laughs] But the point is, I really do think we’ve got to make some better rules. We’ve got to take care of each other a little better,” Dolly concluded.
What do you think about what Dolly had to say? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.