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Fans of many colors

Dolly Parton has always embraced her gay devotees, even before it was trendy



Twins Larry (left), and Gary Lane with Dolly Parton in 2005. (Photo courtesy of the Lane twins)

When it comes to singers with huge gay followings, Dolly Parton has one of the most loyal — and most rabid.

Dolly obsession, explored memorably in the 2006 documentary “For the Love of Dolly,” is at fever pitch these days. The 65-year-old country/pop singer released her latest indie album, “Better Day,” last month and is just starting her latest road outing, the “Better Day World Tour,” which will find her playing dates throughout North America, Europe and Australia. She comes to the D.C. area this weekend with a Sunday night sold-out show at Wolf Trap ( She’s earned solid reviews for both the new record and the tour’s first shows in her native Tennessee and last weekend at the Hollywood Bowl. (The D.C. stop presents a dilemma for some gay music lovers — Britney is at the Verizon Center the same night.)

Everybody knows gay men love their divas — Cher, Judy, Barbra, etc. — but how has Dolly managed to be the only country singer to attain that level of adulation? We talked to three of her LGBT fans from wildly different walks of life to find out.

Duane Gordon, a 36-year-old gay Jackson, Miss., native now living with his partner in Middletown, Ohio, was entranced with the singer even longer than he can remember. His parents tell him when he was as young as 1 and 2, he would drop everything to stare enthralled at the TV anytime Dolly was on. When Barbie-sized Dolly dolls were issued by Goldberger in the late ‘70s, Gordon begged for one. His parents refused, though they didn’t otherwise discourage his infatuation.

He taught himself to read looking at lyric sheets from Dolly’s albums, which he played on his plastic toy kiddie turntable. At age 3, she was his first concert. His whole family went. His mom says the only time he moved the entire evening was when she took him toward the stage to hand the singer a rose.

“I think she’s always appealed very strongly to children,” he says. “It’s probably the high-pitched voice, the exaggerated appearances. She describes herself as a living cartoon character and I think once you become a fan as a child, it’s kind of imprinted on your brain and you remain a dedicated fan. Almost every really big fan of hers I know became a fan as a child.”

Dolly with Dollymania webmaster Duane Gordon. (Photo courtesy of Gordon)

Gordon never outgrew it. He got all her new albums as soon as they were released and when he was 13 and 14, he started trolling vintage record shops for her original vinyl releases. By now, he has them all. The only vinyl issue he lacks is her rare first single “Puppy Love.” When originals show up on eBay, they usually sell for between $2,000-$3,000.

As soon as Gordon got online in the mid-‘90s, he started seeking Dolly fan sites. She had no official site (though she does now) and he soon realized he could do as good a job as those that existed. It debuted as Duane’s Dolly Pages in 1996. By 1998 it became Dollymania ( and is the oldest continually operating Dolly site and the most updated of any. He spends at least an hour each evening keeping it fresh almost every day except Sundays. For several years in the early ‘00s, Dolly and her then-label Sugar Hill, for whom she released several bluegrass records, used it as their “unofficial official” site, sending Gordon exclusive news about album releases and tours.

“It was flattering and very complimentary,” he says. “They appreciated the work I put into it and trusted me to be the primary resource for her to reach her fans.”

Even now, he says, he gets full media privileges at Dollywood, Parton’s Tennessee theme park, and her people make sure he gets questions in at press conferences.

“She always jokes with me that I know her better than she does,” Gordon says. He calls last week’s T-shirt-at-Dollywood controversy (a lesbian was asked to turn her shirt inside out because it said “Marriage is so gay”) a “tempest in a teapot.”

“I thought the gatekeeper was completely in the right,” he says. “They tend to not allow political message shirts on park grounds so you don’t get people getting into political arguments in the park … also the shirt itself was problematic. To appreciate and understand the phrase ‘marriage is so gay,’ one has to have a well-developed sense of irony and sarcasm. … It’s entirely possible that the staff member thought the shirt was … an insult that might offend a gay person.”

Lesbian screenwriter Patricia Resnick knows Dolly in a much different way. She wrote the scripts for two of Dolly’s most famous movies — 1980’s “Nine to Five” and 1992’s “Straight Talk.” She also adapted the former into a stage musical that ran on Broadway for five months and is now on a national tour (its current stop is Fort Worth, Texas).  She’d written a sketch for Dolly to do on Cher’s variety show and read in the trades that Jane Fonda was hoping to do a movie about secretaries. She’d previously worked with Lily Tomlin on Broadway.

“I’d written the Cher show and I knew Dolly from that, so I just thought, ‘Oh, this is a natural.’ I auditioned for the job to write it and I got it,” Resnick says during a phone chat from her home in Los Angeles.

Resnick worked with Dolly extensively in the last several years as they adapted “Nine to Five” to the stage. Early on, Dolly was excited to write the music and did.

“The musical was definitely the most time we spent together and it was great,” Resnick says.

She says, as have many others, that the public Dolly is much the same as the singer/actress is even when she’s not “on.”

“What you see is very much what you get with her,” she says. “She’s very much who she appears to be. She’s charming, very, very funny, incredibly generous, kind, professional. She used to bake brownies for the cast and crew on ‘Nine to Five’ and bring them in. She’s just absolutely fantastic to work with. I couldn’t say a negative thing about her.”

Resnick says the only difference is that privately, Dolly’s “a little bawdier” than she is on stage or TV.

“If you talk to her about something important, she’ll say, ‘Well, let me go pray on it.’ None of what you see is bullshit. She’s the real deal.”

Resnick caught Dolly’s show last weekend at the Bowl. She says while Dolly is well liked in the LGBT world in general — she was nominated for a 2005 Oscar for contributing the song “Travelin’ Thru” to the “Transamerica” soundtrack — most of her fans are gay men.

“It’s a very diverse fan base but just eyeballing the crowd last weekend, I think it’s definitely more gay men than lesbians.”

So what of Resnick?

“Well, I’ve always said I’m like a gay man in a lesbian’s body,” she says. “I love Marilyn, Judy, show tunes. I don’t know what that is, but it’s just who I am. It probably has something to do with why I’m single at the moment.”

Twins Larry and Gary Lane, both gay and North Carolina natives, also figure highly in the queer Dolly fan universe. They wrote a script (“Full Circle”) for her and made a documentary, “Hollywood to Dollywood,” about their cross-country trek from North Hollywood, where they’ve lived for 10 years, to Dollywood’s Pigeon Forge, Tenn., location to deliver the script to her — they hoped — in person. The film follows their adventures. Their gay pals Chad Allen and Leslie Jordan make cameos. “Milk” screenwriter Dustin Lance Black helped them with their script and is also in the movie.

Though their interactions with Dolly have been brief, she’s been supportive of their efforts and even let them use her image for their movie poster and granted them licensing rights to use several of her songs in the film.

The twins say Dolly has long been an inspiration.

“We had a hard struggle growing up gay in North Carolina,” Gary Lane says. “We just related to Dolly on so many levels. I remember seeing her talk once on CNN about her support of gays and it just made us love her even more.”

Dolly with a birdhouse replica of her famous Tennessee mountain home, a gift from the Lane twins. (Photo courtesy of the Lanes)

They won $50,000 on ABC’s “Wipeout” to finance their documentary and are trying to raise more for distribution. Visit and look for “Hollywood to Dollywood” to help or watch the trailer. Their project also has a Facebook page. Several festival showings — at gay and general indie film festivals — are also on the calendar.

Larry says Dolly has strong gay appeal because she’s always been herself, which gays, he says, find inspiring.

“She’s never cared what people thought of her,” he says. “She’s always done her own thing. If people didn’t want to come out for Gay Day at Dollywood, she just says, ‘Well y’all have 364 days, come then.’ She’s always had that attitude. She just loves everybody. Every fan that’s ever bought a ticket from Baptist ministers to drag queens.”

Gordon agrees. He says gay rights issues are one of the few hot button political issues she’ll discuss.

“I think a large part of that came from her being under Sandy Gallin’s management in the ‘70s. They became the closest of friends and even shared an apartment together in New York. That friendship helped mold her into a gay rights advocate. By the mid-‘90s, she was saying things like she believed gay rights were human rights. She’s had friends and family members who are gay or bi and had staff members who’ve had gender reassignment surgery. She’s a very open, loving and accepting person and you can’t help but see that.”

Resnick says Dolly bucks the country trend when it comes to her pro-gay beliefs.

“Some country singers, the more quote-unquote Christian they are, the less accepting they are of gays and Dolly is just not like that. If you listen to her songs, there are a lot of mentions of God and it’s clear that’s very important to her, but it doesn’t seem to in any way affect how she feels about people’s rights to be who they are. She’s very embracing and has lots of gays around her. She clearly has no problem with it.”




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Five easy tips to help you avoid common risks



Be sure to install baby gates if you have stairs in your home with young children. (Photo by Kasia Bialasiewicz/Bigstock)

Your home is more than just a place to eat and sleep; it’s your safe haven. As much as you might cherish your home, you should probably also recognize the potential hazards within its familiar walls. Accidents can happen in an instant, yet with a little foresight and some simple adjustments, you can transform your house into a safer haven. 

Accidents can happen anywhere, and with a few simple tweaks, you can lower risks in your space. Below you’ll find five tips for each room in your home to help prevent injuries, falls, and other mishaps. In short, home safety. 

This article was inspired by a shower in a rental we managed that began leaking through the kitchen ceiling below. If only the landlord had installed grab bars, right!? Below, we’ll guide you through the steps to fortify your bathroom, making it a place of relaxation without the fear of slips and falls. Then, we’ll venture into the room where the magic happens, where proper planning can ensure great nights and peaceful mornings. We’ll show you how to prevent accidents while you experiment becoming the next Gordon Ramsey. And we’ll include a few surprising solutions for those other rooms that hold their own unique hazards, offering solutions to safeguard against unexpected mishaps.

Bathroom Safety

Install Grab Bars: Adding grab bars near the shower and toilet can provide essential support for family members of all ages. Not only can they help with getting in and out, but they can help provide stability when washing. Make sure they are securely anchored to the wall.

Non-Slip Mats: Place non-slip mats inside the shower and bathtub to prevent slips. They’re a small investment that can save you from falls and head injuries.

Adjust Water Temperature:  Ensure your hot water is set to a safe temperature to avoid scalding. The hot water heater should be set to around 120°F (49°C)l, the middle setting on many water heater settings. 

Medicine Cabinet Locks: If you have young children, use childproof locks on your medicine cabinet to keep harmful substances out of reach.

Proper Lighting: Ensure there’s adequate lighting in the bathroom to avoid trips and falls during nighttime visits. Nightlights can be a simple and effective solution. 

Bedroom Safety

Clear Pathways: Keep pathways in the bedroom clutter free to prevent tripping. Ensure there’s enough space to move around comfortably, particularly getting around the bed.  Be aware where all furniture is when walking around to avoid stubbed toes, particularly at night.

Secure Rugs: If you have throw rugs, use rug grippers or double-sided tape to keep them from slipping. Loose rugs are a common trip hazard. 

Bed Rails: For anyone at risk of falling out of bed, consider installing bed rails to provide extra support and prevent falls.

Nightstands with Drawers: Opt for nightstands with drawers to keep essential items.  This reduces the need to get out of bed at night, minimizing the risk of falls, as you race to grab what you need and not lose a moment’s rest.

Fire Safety: Install battery-operated smoke detectors in the bedrooms if there are none. Make sure to install them 36 inches away from an air vent or the edge of a ceiling fan.  Also six inches away from the joint between the wall and ceiling.  And test smoke detectors regularly.

Kitchen Safety

Non-Slip Flooring: Choose slip-resistant rugs in the kitchen, especially in areas where spills are common. Mats near the sink and stove can also help and you can often buy them fairly cheaply at Costco.

Childproof Cabinets: If you have little ones, use childproof latches on cabinets and drawers to prevent them from accessing potentially hazardous items.

Anti-tip brackets: Install an anti-tip bracket behind the range. These are often used when children are in the home. Although they are less likely to open the oven door and use it as a step stool to get to the stove-top, adults can also benefit from installing these. 

Adequate Lighting: Proper lighting is crucial in the kitchen to avoid accidents. Under-cabinet lighting can illuminate work areas effectively.

Secure Heavy Items: Ensure heavy pots and pans are stored at waist level to prevent straining or dropping them from high shelves.

Sharp Object Storage: Keep knives and other sharp objects in a secure drawer or block. And handle all sharp items with extreme care, even when washing and drying. These steps reduce the risk of accidental cuts.  

Other Safety Tips

Furniture Anchors: Secure heavy furniture, like bookshelves and dressers, to the wall to prevent tip-overs, especially if you have young children.

Adequate Outlets: Check for damaged outlets and replace them promptly. Avoid overloading circuits with too many devices. Install placeholder plugs in outlets to prevent young curious fingers (or tongues?) from going inside an electrical outlet.

Stair Gates: If your home has stairs, install safety gates at the top and bottom to prevent falls, especially if you have toddlers or pets to keep them off of the stairs when you cannot monitor them.

Emergency Escape Plan: Develop and practice an emergency escape plan with your family, including a designated meeting place outside.

Carbon Monoxide Detector:  If your home burns any fossil fuels for heating or appliances, install carbon monoxide detectors in common areas of your home to detect this odorless gas. The D.C. building codes require this if you use a fireplace or if you have an attached garage. In essence, if there is any potential source of carbon monoxide in the home, be sure to install these detectors.

Remember, a safer home not only prevents accidents but also provides peace of mind for you and your family. Implement these simple tips to create a secure environment in every room of your house.

With these practical tips and a few adjustments, you can significantly reduce the risk of injuries and falls in your home. Enjoy peace of mind in your now much safer haven.

Scott Bloom is owner and senior property manager of Columbia Property Management.

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Celebrity News

Lizzo makes $50K donation to Marsha P. Johnson Institute

Singer is vocal LGBTQ ally



Lizzo at the 65th Grammy Awards (Screenshot from the Grammy Awards)

When Lizzo sings “If I’m shinin,’ everybody gonna shine,” in her hit song, “Juice,” she means it. Proof of that came this week on Instagram when the LGBTQ ally announced the first winner of her annual Juneteenth Giveback Campaign is the Marsha P. Johnson Institute, a national nonprofit based in Richmond, Calif., dedicated to the protection and defense of Black transgender people. 

And she did so in song: “On the first day of Juneteenth, Lizzo gave to me,” she sang in her video, posted Tuesday, as she revealed her $50,000 gift to MPJI.

“That’s right, we know who Marsha P. Johnson is. We know what Marsha P. Johnson has done for the LGBTQ, emphasis on that ‘T,’ Q community,” said Lizzo to her 13.5 million followers. “Thank you so much to the people at the Marsha P. Johnson Institute. You deserve this, and I hope this helps you so much as you help protect our Black trans family.” 

“What the Marsha P. Johnson Institute does is protects and defends the rights of Black transgender people. They do this by organizing community, advocating for the people, and creating an intentional healing community, developing transformative leadership and promoting collective power,” she said. 

“We are overjoyed for the shoutout from Lizzo today, the generosity of her sharing her platform and the recognition of MPJI and its work,” said Elle Moxley, MPJI’s executive director. “The resources from this campaign will ensure the protection and defense of Black transgender people continue at a time where it is so vitally needed. We are so grateful for the support of Lizzo and her fans.”

As one of Time Magazine’s Persons of the Year for 2019 and a 2023 Grammy winner, Lizzo is more than a pop star but an inspiration to millions of fans for her body-positive attitude, her self-confidence on stage and in her videos, her empowering music and her activism. She’s also the founder of her own clothing line, Yitty. In 2021, she made headlines when she publicly corrected a paparazzo for using “she/her” pronouns and misgendering Demi Levato.

As part of her campaign, now in its 4th year, Lizzo recognizes Black-led grassroots organizations and businesses and encourages her fans to join her in supporting each of the five organizations she highlights this week. Fans who take action by donating are  entered into a drawing for an all-expenses paid trip to see her perform at Fuji Rock in Japan later this year. 

This week’s other nonprofits receiving gifts are: Black Girls Smile, Sphinx Music, the University of Houston and Save Our Sisters United.

Find out more about Lizzo’s 4th annual Juneteenth Giveback Campaign by clicking here.

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Celebrity News

Anne Heche dies after removal from life support

Actress dated Ellen DeGeneres in late 1990s



(Screenshot/YouTube Inside Edition)

Actress Anne Heche died after she was removed from life support on Sunday, nearly two weeks after her Mini-Cooper crashed through a two-story house in Los Angeles’ Mar Vista neighborhood. Investigators with the Los Angeles Police Department believe she was intoxicated at the time.

She sustained a severe anoxic brain injury along with severe burns and was being treated at the Grossman Burn Center at West Hills Hospital, near Chatsworth in the San Fernando Valley.

The 53-year-old actress who was a star of films like “Donnie Brasco,” the political satire “Wag the Dog” and the 1998 remake of “Psycho,” had been declared legally dead under California law on Friday, however, her family kept her alive long enough to be an organ donor.

In a statement Friday, the LAPD announced that: “As of today, there will be no further investigative efforts made in this case. Any information or records that have been requested prior to this turn of events will still be collected as they arrive as a matter of formalities and included in the overall case. When a person suspected of a crime expires, we do not present for filing consideration.” LAPD detectives had previously made public that investigators into the crash found narcotics in a blood sample taken from Heche.

The actress’s family released a statement on Friday:

“Today we lost a bright light, a kind and most joyful soul, a loving mother, and a loyal friend. Anne will be deeply missed but she lives on through her beautiful sons, her iconic body of work, and her passionate advocacy. Her bravery for always standing in her truth, spreading her message of love and acceptance, will continue to have a lasting impact,” the statement added.

Heche was married to camera operator Coleman Laffoon from 2001 to 2009. The two had a son, Homer, together. She had another son, named Atlas, during a relationship with actor James Tupper, her co-star on the TV series “Men In Trees.”

Laffoon left a moving tribute on an Instagram reel in which he also gave an update on how their 20-year-old son Homer Laffoon is coping with the loss of his mother.

“I loved her and I miss her, and I’m always going to,” he said adding: “Homer is okay. He’s grieving, of course, and it’s rough. It’s really rough, as probably anybody can imagine. But he’s surrounded by family and he’s strong, and he’s gonna be okay.”

“Rest In Peace, Mom, I love you, Homer,” the actor’s 20-year-old son, Homer, said in a statement after Heche was declared legally dead on Friday.“ My brother Atlas and I lost our Mom,” read the statement. “After six days of almost unbelievable emotional swings, I am left with a deep, wordless sadness. Hopefully, my mom is free from pain and beginning to explore what I like to imagine as her eternal freedom. Over those six days, thousands of friends, family, and fans made their hearts known to me. I am grateful for their love, as I am for the support of my Dad, Coley, and my stepmom Alexi who continue to be my rock during this time. Rest In Peace Mom, I love you, Homer.”

Tupper, a Canadian actor who starred alongside Heche in “Men in Trees,” had a 13-year-old son, Atlas, with her. “Love you forever,” Tupper, 57, wrote on his Instagram post’s caption with a broken heart emoji, which shared an image of the actress from Men in Trees.

Between 1997 and 2000, Heche was also in a relationship with talk show host Ellen DeGeneres.

“This is a sad day,” DeGeneres posted on Twitter. “I’m sending Anne’s children, family and friends all of my love.” The year after her break-up with the comedian, in September 2001, Heche recounted in her memoir “Call Me Crazy,” about her lifelong struggles with mental health and a childhood of abuse.

KTLA’s entertainment reporter Sam Rubin noted that over the past two decades, Heche’s career pivoted several times. In 2017, she hosted a weekly radio show on SiriusXM with Jason Ellis called “Love and Heche.”

In 2020, Heche made her way into the podcast world. She launched “Better Together” which she cohosted alongside Heather Duffy Boylston. The show was described as a way to celebrate friendship. 

She also worked in smaller films, on Broadway, and on TV shows. She recently had recurring roles on the network series “Chicago P.D.,” and “All Rise” and was a contestant on “Dancing with the Stars.”

People magazine reported that several of Heche’s acting projects are expected to be released posthumously.

These include “Girl in Room 13,” expected to be released on Lifetime in September, “What Remains,” scheduled to be released in 2023, and HBO Max TV series “The Idol,” created by Abel Tesfaye (The Weeknd) and Euphoria creator Sam Levinson.

In her Instagram post from earlier this year Heche stands between her sons Atlas, 13 and Homer, 20.

From KTLA:

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