It appears that Julia Roberts wants schools to have gender-neutral bathrooms. It is unclear if those bathrooms should be private or public to the point of biological males urinating alongside biological females.
In an Instagram post on Tuesday, the “Pretty Woman” star shared a photo of herself posing in front of a “gender-neutral” bathroom — not a unisex bathroom, mind you; the kind that includes both the male and female symbol alongside a half male/half female symbol.
“I wish they all said this,” Roberts said in her post before asking people to check her Instagram story. Actress Rita Wilson, wife of Tom Hanks, expressed her approval.
In her Instagram story video, Roberts invited her followers to donate to the organization, GLSEN, which, according to HuffPost, is “a national education organization that works to help LGBTQ children in K-12 schools.”
“Hi everybody, I wanted to talk to you about an organization I feel really strongly about. It’s called GLSEN,” Roberts said in the story video. “GLSEN makes schools safe for every student no matter your sexual orientation or gender identity, I’ve donated, I’m asking you to. Click that donation button, every dollar helps.”
GLSEN claims it simply promotes anti-bullying of LGBTQ students, but it often goes into propaganda — specifically on the subjects of gender pronouns and gender-neutral bathrooms. In a post explaining their position, GLSEN described traditional bathrooms as being harmful to transgender students in schools.
These bathrooms in schools also pose difficulty to transgender and gender nonconforming students. GLSEN research shows that nearly two thirds of transgender students avoid school bathrooms because of feeling unsafe or uncomfortable. They risk verbal and physical harassment, no matter which of the two, sex-segregated bathrooms they enter.
Also, over half of transgender students report that they were required to use the bathroom of their legal sex rather than the one that they feel most comfortable using. The U.S. Department of Justice has deemed this requirement illegal under Title IX.
Feeling unsafe, uncomfortable, and at risk of illegal disciplinary action, these students might “hold it” or restrict intake of fluids, risking pain and dehydration. Some of these students even leave school altogether. These outcomes are not positive in any way, for any one.
The solution here is not a new or radical concept: all schools should have private, gender-neutral bathrooms for any students to use, in the same, normal way that homes have bathrooms for guests to use and many restaurants have bathrooms that are not labeled for the sexes. This is not to suggest, however, that there be a separate bathroom for transgender students, like presidential candidate Ben Carson recently proposed, because separate is never equal.
Julia Roberts has promoted GLSEN before. According to PEOPLE, while presenting the Visionary Award at the 2016 GLSEN Respect Awards, Roberts had fans donate $49 to GLSEN in honor of her 49th birthday,
“It is my pleasure every year to support GLSEN,” she said. “I love this night. I told the kids backstage … that this is like my third favorite night of the year — and one and two, but don’t tell anyone.”
“But one of the three nights might be my birthday, which is next Friday,” Roberts continued. “If you wake up next Friday and think, ‘What should I get Julia for her birthday?,’ then donate to GLSEN. I’m going to be 49, so a $49 donation would be great. Thank you.”