Music icon Dolly Parton has condemned the rise of anti-LGBTQIA+ bills in a new interview.
Over the last few years, Republican lawmakers have ruthlessly targeted the rights of trans individuals.
Since the start of 2023, over 400 anti-trans bills have been introduced across 48 states.
According to American Civil Liberties Union, Arkansas, West Virginia, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho and Tennessee have already passed laws banning trans people from life-saving health care, sports participation, and using bathrooms aligned with their gender identity.
In response to the continued attacks on trans people and the LGBTQIA+ community as a whole, activists and celebrities have used their platforms to speak out against the hate – including country music legend Parton
During a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the “Jolene” singer shared her thoughts on the rise of anti-trans legislation in the state.
“I just want everybody to be treated good. I try not to get into the politics of everything. I try to get into the human element of it. I have some of everybody in my own immediate family and in my circle of employees,” she explained.
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“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.”
Towards the end of her statement, the beloved talent said that she’s seen first-hand how broken-hearted the LGBTQIA+ community have been over the recent rise of anti-LGBTQ+ bills.
“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,” she added.
Parton’s recent interview is just one of the many times she has showcased support for the LGBTQIA+ community.
In 2016, Dolly told People Magazine: “Actually, I’ve had many people through the years who I have helped to feel good about themselves. I say, ‘You need to let people know who you are, and you need to come on out.
“You don’t need to live your life in darkness – what’s the point in that? You’re never gonna be happy; you’re gonna be sick. You’re not gonna be healthy if you try to suppress your feelings and who you are.'”
She added: “I have a huge gay and lesbian following and I’m proud of ’em, I love ’em and I think everybody should be themselves and be allowed to be themselves whoever they are, whatever they are.”