Schools are accommodating “furbies” with litter boxes in bathrooms, rightwing pundit claims

LGBTQ Entertainment News


Charly Arnolt and Kristen Louelle Gaffney on OutKick The Morning.

Charly Arnolt and Kristen Louelle Gaffney on OutKick The Morning. Photo: Screenshot

On a recent episode of conservative sports website OutKick’s OutKick The Morning, former ESPN sportscaster and host Charly Arnolt, with her guest Kristen Louelle Gaffney, claimed that California public schools are encouraging students to use litter boxes.

Gaffney, a podcaster and the wife of former NFL running back Tyler Gaffney, appeared on the February 22 episode and was asked by Arnolt about any strange activities she may have encountered at her kids’ schools.

“I’m in California, so I have no choice but to put them into private school,” Gaffney said. “It’s a pretty penny, but it’s worth it because I do not mess around with the public school system. I definitely hear stories amongst our peers, and it’s pretty crazy what these kids are learning and what they’re allowed to do in school. There’s something called furbies where people go to the restroom in litter boxes.”

Arnolt nodded and said that she has heard of the “furbies.”

Gaffney is referring to the urban myth that has proliferated among anti-trans conservatives that schools across the country have been installing litter boxes in restrooms for students who identify as furries to use. The thoroughly debunked myth is an outgrowth of anti-trans hysteria, where people claim that accepting trans people as their authentic selves would require them to accept children who identify as animals. That’s not exactly what furries are – they’re a harmless subculture in which people dress up as anthropomorphic animal characters – but it’s the word conservatives have chosen to describe the kids who are supposedly meowing instead of speaking in schools.

Republican politicians and right-wing commentators have repeated the hoax to gin up moral panic around trans and nonbinary kids and also to push efforts to ban students from using school bathrooms that match their gender identity.

But in October 2022, NBC News reported that none of the school districts that had been accused by Republicans that year of installing litter boxes had actually done so. What’s more, one Renison University College professor who studies furry culture noted that she has never once come across any evidence of actual furries using litter boxes.

Gaffney and Arnolt seem to have missed all that. The host said that she had heard about litter boxes in schools.

“And this is normalized,” Gaffney replied.

“How weird is that?” Arnolt added. “I mean, I don’t care, like — let’s just think about this for what it is. You are allowing your children, you are encouraging: Be who you are. Act like an animal and use a litter box in the bathroom. I mean, I just feel like as a parent I don’t care how much I want you to have freedom of expression or be yourself. That is, I mean, that’s just insane.”

Of course, Gaffney quickly segued into an explicit attack on trans athletes and trans people generally. “It’s strange that we’re normalizing—and for example men playing in women’s sports,” she said. “Something that women fought so hard for, to finally have this platform to be a part of and compete, are now being taken over by so-called women.”

“What, at the end of the day, we’re doing is we’re normalizing mental illness,” she added. “And it’s very strange to me that everyone can just go to bed at night like this isn’t happening in our world.”





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