When the Daily Show declared that San Francisco was no longer the Gayest city in the country and in fact had lost out to the milder Minneapolis, I thought it was funny. Watch it here! But the sad truth is, California is really lagging when it comes to the Gays. I am thrilled that Gay marriage has been legalized in New York, but like a single bridesmaid, there is a little jealousy too. When will it be our turn? When will the queens I hang out with have to give up their bitterness towards weddings because they could have their own? Huh? California? Huh?
And in another moment of disappointment, Dollywood has failed me too. I love Dolly Parton and her wacky amusement park both. I took a pilgrimage there in 2008, where I admired a musuem full of her outfits,a bald eagle perserve,and I reproduction of the one room schoolhouse she attended. It was international week at Dollywood and so a thin veneer of multicuturalism was spread atop the woodsy americana environs. One could buy a pupusa on grounds that week though few people seemed to know what one was. I felt especially sorry for the troupe of African singers whose vision of America would be Smokey Point, Tennesse. I honored the occasion by buying a sparkly pink pony t-shirt meant for a girl much younger than myself.
This cherished memory of a near perfect place was tarnished recently when I heard that Dollywood had forced a lady to turn her shirt around because it said “Marriage is so Gay.”
It is especially sad because that shirt is wicked funny. Hilarious, in fact. I’d wager that if she hadn’t been identifiably gay herself, it might gone down differently too. Dolly- WTF? I know Dolly Parton herself is a great ally for the gay community, so I am saddened she hasn’t extended her attitude down the line. I am hoping the answer will come in the form of a queer protest in which we all wear gay t-shirts to the park, because that my now be my only excuse to enjoy a return visit.