Marriage Is So Gay

I’ve always liked Dolly Parton, and I guess I would have thought that Dolly would be able to understand discrimination more than most. So was surprised to read the account of discrimination at Dollywood, the theme park bearing her name.

The Grist Mill at the Dollywood Theme Park

The story was “Gay couple asked to reverse shirt at Dollywood.” The woman wearing a T-Shirt that read “marriage is so gay” was made to turn it inside out before she was allowed admission “to avoid offending others.” I wasn’t there, but I’m offended that they would discriminate like this. Reading a little further, I almost choked when I read:

The park is open every day to everybody,” Owens said. “We try to provide an environment for families of all shapes and sizes to enjoy themselves.”

Pete Owens, Dollywood spokesman

All families are welcome, it seems, unless it is a gay family. I am so tired of hearing about hate disguised as “community standards.”

People come in different shapes and sizes, and we have differing beliefs and sexual orientation, even within families. And you know what? There are gay people in my family, and I’m willing to bet that the same is true for every family, even yours.

Back in the early days, my marriage was having some serious trouble, and my husband and I didn’t know how to get through it ourselves. And although we needed urgent resolution, the wait time to get in to see a marriage counselor was a minimum of six months. If we had had to wait that long, there is an excellent chance that our marriage would have crashed and burned.

Then someone suggested we try the 519 – a gay community centre – in Toronto. Surprise, surprise, we were able to get in to see one of their couples counselors in a matter of weeks. It was actually pretty funny, some of the shocked looks we got as a straight couple going in for our sessions. The marriage counselor helped us to see our way through that bad patch, he helped save our marriage all those years ago.

Because it doesn’t matter whether you’re gay or straight; relationships are relationships. People are people. Families are families. The only thing offensive is hate.

Because hate poisons our communities.

So I think it’s high time we all got t-shirts that read:

“Marriage Is So Gay.”


Photo Credit: Dollywood Grist Mill Flickr photo released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0) License by Mike Burton


2 Responses to “Marriage Is So Gay”

  1. 1 MichaelEdits July 27, 2011 at 1:06 am

    I’d like to think Dolly herself wasn’t responsible for this. I suspect she’s always been an inspiration to gay guys.

    Love your story! The best syndicated columnists with advice for couples that I can think of is Dan Savage, and he’s also probably the most openly gay columnist out there. (…out there…groan…)

    • 2 lothlaurien July 27, 2011 at 5:39 am

      I’m guessing you’re probably right about Dolly herself, but the bottom line is that it’s her name out there. Any discrimination is being done under her name, so it’s bound to splash back at her. I hope she does something about this.

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