Dame Julie Andrews has been open in her support of LGBTQ Rights. In an interview with The Advocate, she said that despite being aware of prejudice against gay people as a kid growing up in 1940s Britain, she didn’t get it. Asked when she first realized she was a friend of the LGBTQ community, Andrews replied:
”That’s hard to answer, because… just always! 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 began her career at 10-years-old, and she was around gay people from the start. Andrews:
”Theatre, anyway, is such an open community and free. 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, it’s the way I was raised.”
Her show for young people, Julie’s Greenroom, streaming on Netflix, caused a stir with the Christian Right because of its inclusion of a gender-nonbinary character named Riley, who, by the way, is a puppet. The idea behind Julie’s Greenroom, was to teach children about the theatre world with the help of her puppet students. Another puppet character, Hank, is another example of the show’s diversity. Andrews:
”We tried to be as inclusive as we possibly could within the show. Hank has a handicap and yet it’s not really a problem, and he manages his life wonderfully and contributes so much.”
By the way, Julie’s Greenroom, produced by Andrews and The Jim Henson Company, is fun for adults. Guests include Alec Baldwin, Sara Bareilles, David Hyde Pierce, and Andrews’ pal Carol Burnett.
Andrews has won an Academy Award, a BAFTA, five Golden Globes, three Grammys, two Emmys, the Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award, and a Kennedy Center Honor. Apart from her showbiz career, she is also an author of children’s books and has published a moving memoir, Home: A Memoir Of My Early Years (2008).