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Dakota Johnson claims that kids are identifying as cats and we are so confused

Dakota Johnson claims that kids are identifying as cats and we are so confused

Dakota Johnson
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What exactly did you mean, Madame Web?

In a confusing turn of events, 50 Shades of Grey star Dakota Johnson repeated an anti-trans talking point about schools allowing students to identify as cats but was also strangely supportive of the idea.

In a recent Bustle article, Johnson said that she was accepting of polyamory “as long as you’re not hurting anyone physically, emotionally, psychologically, do you.”

But then the Madame Web actress on to talk about children identifying as cats while also showing her support for the kids: “My stepson had a friend who was saying that at her school, some kids are identifying as cats. And I was like, OK, good for you.”

When Johnson was asked how her stepson’s friend reacted, she explained, “She’s like, ‘I guess I have to call [her] Kitty now.’”

While Johnson seemed accepting of the supposed student she was talking about, she was tapping into a controversy started by the trans-hating far-right. Back during the run-up to the 2022 midterm elections, Republicans began claiming that schools were keeping litter boxes in the classroom for students who they said identified as cats, as opposed to using a regular restroom. This idea quickly became a popular GOP talking point for candidates who were attempting to discredit trans kids. It was also part of the moral panic around LGBTQ+ students pushing for gender-neutral bathrooms or wanting to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity.

And, of course, MAGA-loving Rep. Lauren Boebert repeated this bizarre myth at a luncheon for Republican women in 2022, warning that educators “are putting litter boxes in schools for people who identify as cats.”

NBC News investigated these ridiculously anti-LGBTQ+ claims and found that none of the school districts named by conservative politicians ever had litter boxes for students.

There was a single school that admitted to having cat litter, but far from being used for students who Republicans claim identify as cats, the litter is part of a “go-bucket” full of emergency supplies, kept in case there is a school shooting.

The fact that there is zero evidence to support the spurious anti-trans claim didn’t stop conservative podcaster Joe Rogan from doubling down with his own story about it. While talking to former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Rogan said the wife of one of his friends is a school teacher who “works at a school that had to install a litter box in the girls’ room because there’s a girl who’s a furry, who identifies as an animal and her mother badgered the school until they agreed to put a litter box in one of the stalls.”

Rogan later admitted that he fabricated the entire story, LGBTQ Nation reports.

PRIDE reached out to Johnson for comment but didn’t immediately hear back.

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Ariel Messman-Rucker

Ariel Messman-Rucker is an Oakland-born journalist who now calls the Pacific Northwest her home. When she’s not writing about politics and queer pop culture, she can be found reading, hiking, or talking about horror movies with the Zombie Grrlz Horror Podcast Network.

Ariel Messman-Rucker is an Oakland-born journalist who now calls the Pacific Northwest her home. When she’s not writing about politics and queer pop culture, she can be found reading, hiking, or talking about horror movies with the Zombie Grrlz Horror Podcast Network.