Dolly Parton believes in equality for all.
The singer has a large gay following, which she attributes to her open-mindedness. "They know that I completely love and accept them, as I do all people. I've struggled enough in my life to be appreciated and understood. I've had to go against all kinds of people through the years just to be myself. I think everybody should be allowed to be who they are, and to love who they love," she says. "I don't think we should be judgmental. Lord, I've got enough problems of my own to pass judgment on somebody else."
As such, Dollywood is a big draw for the LGBTQ community—as well as for church groups. According to Parton, all are welcome. "It's a place for entertainment, a place for all families, period. It's for all that. But as far as the Christians, if people want to pass judgment, they're already sinning. The sin of judging is just as bad as any other sin they might say somebody else is committing," the singer says. "I try to love everybody."
Speaking to Billboard, Parton also gives advice for up-and-coming businesswomen.
"You need to really believe in what you've got to offer, what your talent is—and if you believe, that gives you strength. In my early days, I would go in, and I was always overmade, with my boobs sticking out, my clothes too tight, and so I really looked like easy prey to a lot of guys—just looked easy, period. But I would go in, and if they were not paying close attention to what I was saying, I always said, 'I look like a woman, but I think like a man and you better pay attention or I'll have your money and I'll be gone.'"
The "My Tennessee Mountain Home" singer also admits that she is unfamiliar with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg's book, Lean In. "What is it?" she wonders. Asked whether she's ever leaned in, Parton laughs and says, "I've leaned over. I've leaned forward. I don't know what 'leaned in' is. Lean in to God."
Parton may not be up to date with popular culture, but that suits her just fine. "I hardly go out much anymore. I just send somebody after the stuff I like," the 9 to 5 star says. "But if I go anywhere, I go in full disguise. I'm afraid somebody will recognize me and say, 'Oh, did you see Dolly? She looked like hell.'
"I'd rather them say, 'Did you see Dolly? She's so overdone.'"