Dolly Parton denies having a secret lesbian relationship with her BFF Judy

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I can’t think of one person, group or demographic who has an issue with Dolly Parton. She’s the closest thing to “universally beloved” as anyone can get. The LGBTQ community in particular has always been ride-or-die for Dolly, probably because she’s always been a supportive ally to them, even before it was the chic thing to do. But here’s the question: was Dolly always a supportive ally because she’s been undercover gay this whole time? Well, I doubt it, but who knows. When Dolly chatted with The Sun recently, she was asked about those rumors and she answered the questions pretty directly. Some highlights from The Sun’s interview:

On the idea that her 53-marriage is a sham & she’s secretly with her BFF Judy: “So ­people say that — because you can’t really have a great relationship with a woman. I’m not gay but I have so many gay friends and I accept everybody for who they are.” It’s clear her feelings for Judy, who she regularly describes as her “girlfriend”, are strong, even though they are purely platonic. “Well, people love to talk, people love to gossip. They’ve said that about Oprah but it’s not true. Judy and I have been best friends for 64 years, since we were little kids. Our ­parents knew each other, we grew up together, we were like ­sisters, became best friends. She was very quiet, I was very outgoing. So we made perfect friends. We went all through school together. She went to the army when we graduated because she needed the insurance and she needed to help her family and I was trying to make it. As soon as she got out, she came to Nashville and we’ve been together ever since.”

On being a gay icon: Dolly is now a gay icon (“I love that,” she shrieks in her southern twang) who, if she had been born a boy, would have “been a drag queen because I love all the ­flamboyant stuff”.

On people who define themselves as gender fluid, pansexual or bisexual. “For me, I’m still an old timer. Sometimes I think it’s just become kind of fashionable to speak out like that. I think some of them even say more than who they really are. I think they just want to be part of that whole movement to make people think that they’re so free and all that. But I don’t really know how they feel inside. I know how I feel inside. Miley, she does a lot of stuff for effect, and I think a lot of them do.”

On her husband: “He’s a good man. It is a true love story and he’s my best buddy — he’s crazy, he’s funny. So I think laughter has been a big part of our relationship. We both have a lot of fun. And we’re not in the same business — he doesn’t care about that. He’s pretty much a homebody, loves staying around home. We live out on a farm. He likes to mow the fields and work on his tractors.”

Being childfree: A hysterectomy when Dolly was 36 took away the couple’s chance to start a family of their own, ­something she believes “wasn’t meant to be”. Would her stratospheric career have been as successful if she’d had children? “Chances are, not,” she admits. “I look at everything like it happened the way that it was supposed to. I’m pretty sure if I’d had kids I would not have done as much. I always think, ‘Well, maybe God didn’t mean for me to have ­children, so everybody’s children could be mine.’ My husband feels the same way. Now that we are older, we’re almost kind of glad that we don’t have a bunch of grandkids driving us crazy that we have to babysit if we don’t want to.”

[From The Sun]

I actually forget all the time that Dolly never had kids. She always handled that with such a shrug too, it feels like she never put pressure on herself to have kids just because of societal norms or whatever. And she’s an outlier for her generation too – women her age just believed that was expected of them, to get married and become mothers and that’s it. As for what she says about pansexuality and such… her sentiments might be controversial, but I like the way she prefaced it, basically saying that perhaps she’s too old to really understand those labels and conversations. As for whether she’s on the downlow with Judy… LET DOLLY LIVE. I mean, maybe. But it’s her business!

61st Annual Grammy Awards

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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20 Responses to “Dolly Parton denies having a secret lesbian relationship with her BFF Judy”

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  1. Steff says:

    She has a best Judy…

  2. Lucia says:

    I think a lot of people give Dolly crap because her husband is an incredibly private individual and she didn’t try to force him into being a celebrity husband.

    Either way, I hate it when the tabloids try to out someone. I just feel it’s wrong on so many levels and if someone wants to discuss their sexuality, they can. Otherwise, it isn’t our business.

  3. minx says:

    Meh, it’s her business if she does.

  4. Lynnie says:

    I think it can be both with the whole sexuality and gender fluid thing. There’s a lot of people who probably fit those labels and there’s a lot of people who are probably slapping labels on themselves without fully realizing what any of it means/looking for an identity. I’ve seen both instances happen in real life, and feel that as time goes on and people + definitions mature we’ll see a more intellectual? (Idk if that’s the right word I’m looking for) discussion on it. Right now I think people are caught up in the novelty of it and it’s clouding the discussion.

  5. Throwaway1010 says:

    I may be wrong but didn’t Dolly have some medical issue related to birth control that made it difficult/impossible to have kids?

  6. me says:

    Yes of course, if a woman doesn’t have kids or isn’t married, or is married but doesn’t shove her husband in our faces, or hasn’t dated every man on this planet, she must be a lesbian…yup.

  7. Hikaru says:

    A lot of us older gay, lesbian and bi people are witnessing a whole wave of edgy straight girls and boys sneaking into our community under vague queer/genderfluid and similar labels. It existed before too, especially with artists, but nowhere near the numbers that we have today.

    Ultimately, they don’t hurts us.

    Aside from draining our already limited resources and contributing to actual non-straight kids not being taken seriously and homophobia being treated as a joke because they personally aren’t affected by it while the rest of us struggle with discrimination, poverty and mental illness.

  8. KBeth says:

    Ugh….people need to mind their own business.

  9. Bunny says:

    I can’t stand when reporters try to out people. It is 100% wrong. Miss Dolly handled that with way more tact than I could.

    A smart, thoughtful woman.

  10. Carey says:

    There’s been rumors about Dolly for many years. Our lesbian friends treat Dolly’s queerness as a fact. I don’t know if it’s true or not but she certainly has a right to keep her personal life to herself.

    Fun fact: Dolly has tattoos all over her torso that she keeps covered up. She’s repeatedly lied in interviews about having them but Roseanne and Jennifer Saunders have both said in interviews that they personally have seen the tattoos.

  11. Sara says:

    I know their neighbor and met Carl. He’s a quiet hunk and very much of a gentleman. The neighbor, who is openly gay, talked casually about their open marriage, which their close friends are very aware of. It works for them. And yes, Carl is funny. He has a dry sense of humor and is still very handsome.

  12. Jamie says:

    That drive-by hit on Miley! LOL

  13. Yes Doubtful says:

    It’s annoying how women like Dolly or Oprah constantly get questioned the same things over and over again… you have a best friend, are you gay? why didn’t you have kids? You don’t see men of their age getting those questions.

  14. SJR says:

    IMO, ya know..I honestly don’t care who anybody is sleeping with.
    2 consenting adults, that’s all personal business.

    Dolly has written a ton of beautiful songs, still sings and performs, has worked her butt off for decades, comes from dirt poor poverty childhood, PLUS, giving little kids a new book every month thru her reading program.
    I was so poor after my divorce that when I signed my daughter up for Dollys book program ..
    I cried when it came in the mail. Dolly and her private business is OK in my book. :)
    (I don’t see any other celebs giving little kids free books, btw)