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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.”



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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Celebrity News

‘Star Trek’ actress Nichelle Nichols dies at 89

George Takei tweets ‘we lived long and prospered together’



(Screenshot/YouTube The Smithsonian Channel)

She was a groundbreaking cultural icon who broke barriers in a time of societal upheaval and battling for the civil rights of Black Americans. An actress, a mother and thoroughly devoted to the legions of fans of “Star Trek,” Nichelle Nichols, Star Trek’s Lt. Nyota Uhura, has died at 89.

The announcement on her Facebook page by her son read:

Sunday, July 31, 2022

Friends, Fans, Colleagues, World

I regret to inform you that a great light in the firmament no longer shines for us as it has for so many years.

Last night, my mother, Nichelle Nichols, succumbed to natural causes and passed away. Her light however, like the ancient galaxies now being seen for the first time, will remain for us and future generations to enjoy, learn from, and draw inspiration.

Hers was a life well lived and as such a model for us all.

I, and the rest of our family, would appreciate your patience and forbearance as we grieve her loss until we can recover sufficiently to speak further. Her services will be for family members and the closest of her friends and we request that her and our privacy be respected.

Live Long and Prosper,

Kyle Johnson

Nichols was born in Robbins, Ill., in 1932, according to her IMDb page. Legendary composer Duke Ellington “discovered” Nichols and helped her become a singer and dancer. She later turned to acting, and joined Gene Roddenberry’s “Star Trek,” where she played Uhura from 1966 to 1969.

Out actor George Takei who played ‘Sulu’ on Star Trek the original series with Nichelle Nichols who played Lt. Nyota Uhura, at a Star Trek convention in this undated photo. (George Takei/Twitter)

It was in that role of Uhura that Nichols not only broke barriers between races, most famously her onscreen kiss, the first between a Black person and a white person, with castmate William Shatner, who played Capt. James T. Kirk, but she also became a role model for young Black women and men inspiring them to seek out their own places in science, technology, and other human endeavors.

In numerous interviews over the years Nichols often recalled how the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., was a fan of the show and praised her role and personally encouraged her to stay with the series.

When the first series ended Nichols went on to become a spokesperson for NASA, where she “helped recruit and inspire a new generation of fearless astronauts.” She later reprised her role in several successful “Star Trek” films and continued to advocate for the advancement of Black Americans especially in the areas of science and technology.

Formerly a NASA deputy administrator, Frederick Gregory, now 81, told the Associated Press he once saw an advertisement in which Nichols said “I want you to apply for the NASA program.”

“She was talking to me,” he recounted. The U.S. Air Force pilot would apply and later become the first African American shuttle pilot.

President Joe Biden weighed in Sunday afternoon on her passing in a statement issued by the White House:

In Nichelle Nichols, our nation has lost a trailblazer of stage and screen who redefined what is possible for Black Americans and women.
A daughter of a working-class family from Illinois, she first honed her craft as an actor and singer in Chicago before touring the country and the world performing with the likes of Duke Ellington and giving life to the words of James Baldwin.
During the height of the Civil Rights Movement, she shattered stereotypes to become the first Black woman to act in a major role on a primetime television show with her groundbreaking portrayal of Lt. Uhura in the original Star Trek. With a defining dignity and authority, she helped tell a central story that reimagined scientific pursuits and discoveries. And she continued this legacy by going on to work with NASA to empower generations of Americans from every background to reach for the stars and beyond.
Our nation is forever indebted to inspiring artists like Nichelle Nichols, who show us a future where unity, dignity, and respect are cornerstones of every society.

Nichols son said that services will be private for family members and her closest friends.

In 2008 the actress at a news conference, coordinated by the filmmakers of the motion picture “TRU LOVED,” in honor of the more than 900 students at Los Angeles’ Miguel Contreras Learning Complex’s School of Social Justice who participated in the GLSEN Day of Silence.

Nichelle Nichols speaks on LGBTQ rights:

Her fellow castmate and life long friend, openly Out actor George Takei shared his sadness on hearing of Nichols’ passing on Twitter:

From the September 2016 edition of the Smithsonian Channel: “Star Trek’s decision to cast Nichelle Nichols, an African American woman, as major character on the show was an almost unheard-of move in 1966. But for black women all over the country, it redefined the notions of what was possible.”

Star Trek’s Nichelle Nichols on Uhura’s Radical Impact:

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Emma Corin becomes first nonbinary person featured on cover of American Vogue

The star of The Crown opened up about their identity.



Emma Corrin Jamie Hawkesworth/Vogue

Emma Corin was announced as the cover star of the August edition of Vogue. It’s the first time a nonbinary person is featured on the cover of American Vogue.

Corin posted the cover photo and wrote, “My grin really says it all! A huge honour to be your August cover.”

In early 2021, Corin quietly came out as a queer and nonbinary, changing pronouns to “she/they” in their instagram bio. Currently Corin sticks to pronouns “they/them.”

“I feel much more seen when I’m referred to as ‘they,’ but my closest friends, they will call me ‘she,’ and I don’t mind, because I know they know me,” Corin explained during the interview with Vogue.

Corin stated that they’ve still gone on dates with various kinds of people and set no limit on who they date. “I like people,” they simply said and shrugged.

Corin also shared some of their dating experiences. “My first date with a girl, they were like, Oh! You’re a baby queer!” Corin said, “It was amazing. We actually didn’t end up seeing each other again, but she really gave me the lowdown.”

Besides, Corin was frank about their conflicting feelings towards gender and sexuality issues. “I’m working out all this complex gender and sexuality stuff. And yet, I’m seeing a guy? That feels very juxtaposed, even if I’m very happy.”

Corin is known for playing Diana on the Netflix series The Crown.

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