Happy 60th Birthday, Dolly!

I love Dolly Parton. I love her big voice, her big hair, and her big boobs. I love Steel Magnolias and 9 to 5, and lordy if I’ll even admit I own Straight Talk on DVD. (Not to mention one of her favorite films, Harold and Maude.) She is an adorable sasspot, and I just love her to pieces.

I also really admire her. She’s passionate about education, particularly early childhood education, and has done amazing things to give kids who are born in the Appalachian county in which she was born a good start, not to mention kids all over the world. She raises at least a quarter of a million dollars a year doing concerts which support her Dollywood Foundation, which, in part, runs the Imagination Library, providing children who register a new book every month until their fifth birthdays. (So cool.) The foundation has helped her build schools and hospitals, and she regularly performs benefit concerts to support other scholarship and educational programs.

Dolly’s also been an outspoken proponent of women’s rights, and her status as a gay icon (come on—who’s attended a drag show and not seen a Dolly?) is well-deserved beyond her voice and style. A Christian, like Tammy Faye, who seems to have actually read the Bible, she supports gay marriage, and has appeared on the cover of Out, among others. Her production company, Sandollar Productions, which she started with her former longtime manager, business partner, and close friend Sandy Gallin (a gay man), chose as its first project the 1989 Oscar-winning documentary about the making of the AIDS quilt, Common Threads.

Basically, she’s an all-around cool chick.

Dolly likes to say she’s more patriotic than political. Wink wink. Happy birthday to my favorite closet liberal.

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