As she gears up for her rock era, Dolly Parton is doubling down on her commitment to LGBTQ+ rights.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter published Thursday, the 11-time Grammy recipient was asked about Tennessee’s newly-passed legislation that allows for discrimination against transgender people.
Though Parton clarified that she’s always tried to steer clear of “the politics of everything” in her home state, she nonetheless said, “I just want everybody to be treated good.”
“I have some of everybody in my own immediate family and in my circle of employees,” she explained. “I’ve got transgender people. I’ve got gays. I’ve got lesbians. I’ve got drunks. I’ve got drug addicts — all within my own family. I know and love them all, and I do not judge. And I just see how broken-hearted they get over certain things and I know how real they are.”
She went on to note: “I know how important this is to them. That’s who they are. They cannot help that any more than I can help being Dolly Parton, you know, the way people know me. If there’s something to be judged, that is God’s business. But we are all God’s children and how we are is who we are.”
In 2016, she used her signature wit to touch on North Carolina’s House Bill 2, which prohibited transgender people from using public restrooms that aligned with their gender identity, in an interview with CNN Business.
“I hope that everybody gets a chance to be who and what they are,” she said at the time. “I just know if I have to pee, I’m going to pee. I don’t care where it’s going to be.”
Later this month, Parton will unveil “Rockstar,” her first-ever rock ‘n’ roll album. Featured amid the 30 new songs are collaborations with Elton John, Paul McCartney and Stevie Nicks, among other legendary artists.
One of the more surprising duets is “Either Or,” which Parton performs with Kid Rock. In her Hollywood Reporter chat, Parton brushed off the criticism she’s drawn for teaming up with a conservative musician who has expressed anti-LGBTQ sentiments in the past.
“I don’t criticize, I don’t condone nor condemn,” she said. “I just accept them. But anyhow, just because I love you don’t mean I don’t love Kid Rock in that God way.”