Sister Dottie S. Dixon may not be a smart woman, but she knows what love is.
"I'm a simple Mormon girl, born and raised in Spanish Fark, Utah," Dottie said, in an interview by e-mail.
(The spelling and punctuation are her own. We did downsize her overzealous capitalization.)
"I am a 10th generation Mormon. I am married ta Don Dixon fer 37 years, and we are the proud parents of a gay son Donnie P. Dixon. I am a accidental activist, but now stand fer the minoritized and miniaturized peoples of the world."
Sister Dottie is an advocate for gay, women's and homeless rights, along with those of "Specific Islanders, Asio-Americans, and all them illegal Hisspanish people, I love em' all rilly, truly I do."
Sister Dottie is the comically irreverent creation of Salt Lake City actor L. Charles Frost, who also performs the role of the good-hearted, uneducated, small-town Utah woman, whose goal is to get people laughing and talking about the personal differences — especially in sexual orientation — that can break families apart.
Dottie makes her first Ogden appearance on Saturday, for the "Sister Dottie S. Dixon's Holiday Extravaganza." The Weber State University event is a fundraiser for the OUTreach Resource Center and the WSU Center for Diversity and Unity.
"I have found that family preservation is the most impartant thing I stand fer currently. It simply breaks my heart when families, expecially Mormon families are torn apart because parents choose their church over their child! There has been far, far too many needless suicides because of ignorance on this topic, and I am all about makin' sure people know my pretty strong opinions about it all.
"I am also recently all about equality and protection for all God's children, standin' on the side of love. I fight against bullyin' in any form, and will not tolerate it in any fashion whatsoever. I want ta bust open wide the conversation and the context fer all families talkin' about love, acceptance, and celebration of their LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) family members and friends."
Sister Dottie agreed to answer a few questions about her life.
- Why did you decide to do this show in Ogden?
"Sister Dottie has been practically all over the state, talkin', doin' parades, perfarmin, etc. etc., and it's just about time she does a big old fundraisin' event fer Ogden. I have relatives in Ogden, and I feel sa bad that I haven't been upta Ogden yet. I have 5,000+ FaceBook friends, and eversa many of em' frum Ogden.
"I'm gonna be perfarmin' excerpts frum (the stage play) ‘The Passion of Sister Dottie S. Dixon,' we're gonna be givin' away lotsa gifts and prizes, and a brand new 2011 Sister Dottie Calendar, which is just about the most adorable thing you've ever seen. But most impartanly, this is a huge fundraiser fer Ogden OUTReach and the Diversity Center at WSU, both of which I couldn't be prouder ta be associated with."
- What is your dream for Utah's straight and gay communities?
"Ta have the patience and perseverance ta attract and allow the rest of the state ta catch the hell up with the rest of those who don't and won't accept hate and fear. Ta love themselves first and everyone else second, and stop dividing and judging and hurtin' others inside and outside of their own culture. Ta be the change they wanna see in the world!"
- What do the men in your life think about you being such a vocal advocate for acceptance?
"Donald D. Dixon is the first love of my life, and has always been the greatest thing that ever happened ta me. He supparts me in everything I choose ta be involved with. He once told me shortly after Donnie come out ta me ‘Dottie, that's my son, and nothin's gonna change that, nothin.' You could've knocked me over with the simplicity of absalute wisdom in his comment.
"I told Donnie shortly after that. ‘We've got some big learnin' ta do in this family. An I can't promise it's always going ta be easy, especially in Spanish Fark. You're gonna have many obstacles in yer life because of all the meanness in the world - but I promise you right here, right now, that we, your parents, will not be one of them!'
"Donnie loves his Mama as much as I love him. He's the joy of my life, and he's real proud of me and all that I work on. He sometimes wishes that his Mama would not talk about him sa much. But gadfreys how can I stop doin' that? He is the main reason I found my real mission in life."
- What do you see in your future?
"Move over Oprah. Watch out Doug Fabrizio. Be careful Ellen. Another stage show in the fall of 2011, a sequel that I'm writin' right now. More books, probably on coming out/supporting someone who has come out. Donnie ta settle down, find him a good man, get married, and get me some grandchildren - however he wishes ta do that. Bloggin, appearances, facebookin', makin' new friends, appearances, fundraisers, makin' a diffrunce, makin' my life count."
- Is there anyone you don't love?
"I can't say as I love everyone in ma ward. We've all got someone who pushes our buttons, and fer me it's Sister Barbara B. Booth. Barbara is the spiritchal living teacher in Release Saciety and yet it turned out she was bearing false witness against me!
"She had the audasticles ta tell the whole Release Society at brother Checketts funeral I only put one bag of potato chips on the top of my funeral potatoes, when I always put two! It created all sarts of consternation with the sisters, and it's just not true. I never skimp on the chips. Never!"