Julie Andrews – who entered our consciousness as, among others, Mary Poppins, Victor/Victoria, Maria in The Sound of Music, and (perhaps particularly for the much younger ones) as the grandmother queen of Anne Hathaway’s Mia in The Princess Diaries – has re-emphasized (if you will) her support for the LGBT community by saying that there has never been a time when she was not an LGBT ally.
In an interview by The Advocate, Andrews was asked when she first realized she’s an ally of the LGBT community. “That’s hard to answer, because, just always!” Andrews was quoted as saying, adding that “theater, anyway, is such an open community and free. I don’t think there’s been a time when I haven’t been (an ally).”
Andrews credits not just her exposure to LGBT people in her profession for her attitude towards LGBT people; but also the way she was raised.
“I have to say, though, in my hometown, in my community, I was very aware of bias and bigotry, and couldn’t understand it,” Andrews said. “I was raised not to be that way and not to think that way, and it always seemed puzzling to me that the world wasn’t just embracing human beings. But it’s never been something that I stumbled on. It’s just always been innate, thanks I think to the professions that I am in. But also the way I was raised.”
Andrews recently created a show with her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton. With The Jim Henson Co., they developed “Julie’s Greenroom”, a Netflix series that: 1) aims to impart an appreciation of the arts to children; and 2) advocate for the arts particularly in a time when they are under attack.
The show has a character, named Riley, who is gender-nonbinary.
Andres believes that arts can “help people understand each other and they transcend all barriers, and I cannot think of anything more important.”
In the end, particularly with lawmakers passing anti-LGBT legislation – such as the “bathroom bills” tat bar trans people from using restrooms and other facilities that correspond with their gender identity – Andrews believes in keeping the mind open.
“Please keep an open mind. Please think,” Andrews said.