Fact Check

Did Dolly Parton Say This About Drag Queens?

She has said before that she would be a drag queen if she hadn't been born a girl.

Published March 14, 2023

In March 2023, Dolly Parton said, "I dress more provocatively and risque than any drag queen in Tennessee. Lord I hope they don't outlaw me!"

In March 2023, a quote that singer Dolly Parton allegedly said about dressing more provocatively than drag queens spread on social media. As of this writing, we found no evidence she said it. 

"I dress more provocatively and risque than any drag queen in Tennessee," Parton allegedly said. "Lord I hope they don't outlaw me!" The quote was included next to a photograph of her wearing a leopard print with a hot pink robe.

The quote spread on various social media platforms, including Twitter and TikTok.

We reached out to Parton's representatives and will update this story if we hear back.

The quote spread after Tennessee passed a law that restricted "adult cabaret performances" in public or in the presence of children. A law that banned gender-affirming care for transgender minors in the state was also passed the same day. 

We found no evidence Parton made the statement, or spoke about the legislation in general. Besides appearing on social media, the quote has not appeared in any reputable publication, or in interviews or videos of her. If we find any information about the source of the quote, we'll update this check.

The photograph is authentic, though. Parton wore the outfit for her 2008 album "Backwoods Barbie." She wore it both for the album's cover and the music video for the title song. The photograph is from when she was on set for the video, according to The Independent. Drag queen Trixie Mattel released a cover of the song in 2019.

Parton has said she would have been a drag queen if she hadn't been born a girl. "And I've always had these drag queens dress like me," she told Jennifer Aniston when confirming that quote in a 2018 interview for "Good Morning America." 

Parton has also previously worked with drag queens. She partnered with drag queen Nina West on an apparel line that benefited LGBTQ+ youth and children's literacy in June 2020. (Parton's non-profit group Imagination Library has gifted over 100 million books to kids up to 5 years old.)

We've checked quote claims about Parton before, including a real quote about removing the word "Dixie" from a dinner attraction, a false quote about California being punished for "embracing Satan," and a mixture of true and false claims that she "trashed" Hilary Clinton during her 2016 presidential campaign. 


Backwoods Barbie. www.youtube.com, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vaYKnQ0YEB8. Accessed 14 Mar. 2023.

Curto, Justin. "Tennessee Musicians Are Protesting Drag Ban With Benefit Concert." Vulture, 7 Mar. 2023, https://www.vulture.com/2023/03/tennessee-drag-ban-protest-benefit-concert.html.

Evon, Dan. "Did Dolly Parton Say This About 'Dixie' Being An 'Offensive' Word?" Snopes, 5 Mar. 2021, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/dolly-parton-dixie-offensive/.

---. "Dolly Parton Said California's 'Biblical Disasters' Were Punishment For 'Embracing Satan?'" Snopes, 12 Jan. 2018, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/dolly-parton-said-californias-biblical-disasters-punishment-embracing-satan/.

---. "Dolly Parton 'Trashes' Hillary Clinton?" Snopes, 20 Sept. 2016, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/dolly-parton-trashes-hillary-clinton/.

Dolly Parton - Backwoods Barbie (Official Music Video). www.youtube.com, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJBz1U6Y-pg. Accessed 14 Mar. 2023.

GMA Team. "We Had Jennifer Aniston Interview Dolly Parton -- Here's What Happened." ABC News, https://goodmorningamerica.com/culture/story/jennifer-aniston-interview-dolly-parton-happened-59634597. Accessed 14 Mar. 2023.

LaMagdeleine, Izz Scott. "Did Tennessee Ban the Classic Movie 'Some Like It Hot'?" Snopes, 9 Mar. 2023, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/tennessee-ban-some-like-it-hot/.

Nolfi, Joey. "Exclusive: Dolly Parton, Drag Star Nina West Launch Charity Collection for LGBTQ+ Youth." Entertainment Weekly, https://ew.com/celebrity/dolly-parton-nina-west-kindness-queen-collection/. Accessed 14 Mar. 2023.

Pao, Maureen. "Dolly Parton Gives The Gift Of Literacy: A Library Of 100 Million Books." NPR, 1 Mar. 2018. NPR, https://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2018/03/01/589912466/dolly-parton-gives-the-gift-of-literacy-a-library-of-100-million-books.

PilotOnline.com. "Dolly Parton - The 'Backwoods Barbie Tour.'" The Virginian-Pilot, 3 Sept. 2008, https://www.pilotonline.com/entertainment/music/article_cf235143-83d1-5a7b-92b3-73459a8f1376.html.

"'It Costs a Lot of Money to Look This Cheap': As Dolly Parton Releases Her 43rd Album, Look Back at Her Greatest Fashion Hits." The Telegraph, 19 Aug. 2016, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/fashion/people/dolly-partons-greatest-fashion-hits/.

Squires, Bethy. "RuPaul, Pedro Pascal, and More Speak Out in Defense of Trans Rights." Vulture, 8 Mar. 2023, https://www.vulture.com/2023/03/rupaul-pedro-pascal-b-52s-post-pro-lgbt-rights.html.

Izz Scott LaMagdeleine is a fact-checker for Snopes.

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