Are gay days an antiqued concept?

CampbellzSoup

Son. Husband. Father.
Joined
Oct 4, 2014
Does anyone not see the necessary designation of one day as “Gay Days” any longer?

I just think that we have become so accepted loved and ingrained in society that we don’t need a special designated day as everyday is pretty much “Gay day”.

I have walked with my husband in Disney and never ever have been made to feel anything other than loved and welcomed.

Now with having a son and people see two dads I feel like people come up all the time respectfully giving us warm regards as well.

To me, Disney represents family, acceptance and Inclsuon. I feel that we have succeeded in all aspects as gay people without having a special day as everyday is special.

thoughts and feelings?
 

OKW Lover

Retired and living 2 miles from The Castle.
DIS Lifetime Sponsor
Joined
Apr 29, 2004
Interesting perspective. I'm glad that you feel comfortable at Disney. Not being gay myself I'm probably not in the best position to comment, but I'd say that having special gay days at Disney offers an opportunity for others to see how normal the community is.
 


Lumpy1106

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 2, 2010
Agree with OP. likewise, not gay myself, but I do live in a community that, very early on, was gay friendly. In fact, I credit the gay community for many of the massive improvements I've seen since I've lived here. I've always seen thing like "gay days" to be an opportunity for the straight world to see things the way I do - the positive impacts, without fear (if that's the right word). The ultimate goal though is acceptance, and you can't really have that until YOU feel you are accepted. Having a special day really sort-of defeats that purpose, doesn't it?
 
  • CampbellzSoup

    Son. Husband. Father.
    Joined
    Oct 4, 2014
    Agree with OP. likewise, not gay myself, but I do live in a community that, very early on, was gay friendly. In fact, I credit the gay community for many of the massive improvements I've seen since I've lived here. I've always seen thing like "gay days" to be an opportunity for the straight world to see things the way I do - the positive impacts, without fear (if that's the right word). The ultimate goal though is acceptance, and you can't really have that until YOU feel you are accepted. Having a special day really sort-of defeats that purpose, doesn't it?
    I just don’t think that day best reflects who we are as a community anyway, but that’s a subjective opinion.

    I just come from the fact that “everyday” is Gay Day and we’ve been so-gracefully accepted within the Disney realm that showcasing us on a particular day just seems like an old practice that won’t let go.
     

    DizMinMouse

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 19, 2018
    I guess my opinion is events like gay days are important for bringing the LGBTQ+ community together in celebration. So many people still have no choice but to blend in & not draw attention in their daily lives. Sometimes it’s just nice to not be the only person like you in the room.
    Hopefully someone else can find a more eloquent way to explain this. I feel like I can’t find the proper words.
     

    Luxurious_Lumiere

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 6, 2017
    I understand what you're saying, but must respectfully disagree. I think it is incredibly important to come together with a sense of community. As an example: I will always remember my first Pride march in NYC after DOMA was struck down. I had never really felt the need to "celebrate" being gay, and why would I feel "proud" of simply the way I was born? But that day I saw gay couples standing together with signs saying things like "together for 40 years, finally legal" and "those that came before us are smiling upon us now". A couple who had been together for 50 years according to their sign reached out in joyful desperation to Edie Windsor as she passed...they were too far away to get close to her car, they never could have touched her or shaken her hand from behind the barricade. But they desperately shouted "thank you" with arms outstretched as they cried and then held each other.
    And I realized: OH. This isn't about celebrating being gay. It is about coming together triumphantly, because we SURVIVED. And thanks to the perseverance and progress enacted by those who came before us, we can THRIVE. It's about gathering with your community to look at where you have come from and where you are headed. Because that is powerful.
    Yes. The LGBTQ population has made great strides in acceptance and rights in this country. But there are still plenty of places that shun, repress, and demonize gay people. There are still closeted queer kids who need to see adults living happily open lives. There are still zero worker protections for lGBTQ people in more than half the states in the US. Trans people are still subject to increased levels of violence. There are still many spaces in this world where gay people act self consciously and refrain from being ones true self b/c of years of ingrained fear. And for those reasons I think we need Gay Days.
    Queer people have long had a brilliant talent for lifting each other up and celebrating joy. Joy of the community. Joy in the face of hate and violence.

    My boyfriend and I have a favorite gay dance party we attend whenever it comes to town. It is incredible to me the sense of community that can erupt on a dance floor with 1000 people. Everyone is helpful towards one another, they let strangers who may have showed up alone dance within their circle of friends, etc. And at some point in the night I always end up looking at the sea of smiling faces and turn to my boyfriend and say "isn't this incredible? aren't we so lucky to have this? that out of years of facing oppression and hate, we can come together and celebrate joy?" I don't think everyone gets that in life. And I'm going to keep gathering with my community and celebrate joy for as long as humanly possible.
     
  • Dole_whip_doll

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 16, 2020
    I don't think it's an antiquated concept at all.

    Call me when there's a gay Disney prince. Or a gay Disney anything other than some nice merch once a year.
    It’s a toe in the water but you’ve got Wandering Oaken and the whole LeFou and the “go be free be free” reference for the man in the dress, so there’s at least “a gay Disney anything”.
     
    Joined
    Jul 23, 2017
    I don’t mean to be dismissive, there just seem to be two approaches here: The first is that since many heterosexuals now accept LGBTQ+ people the event is no longer necessary. The second is that LGBTQ+ people need their own events to support each other as a community. I side with the second approach.

    I hate the idea of getting rid of a gay event because most straight people are “OK with us now.” That’s certainly not every LGBTQ+ person’s experience and is naive given the lack of legal protections we still face on the federal and in many cases local level.

    I would love to see a full-fledged gay character or storyline in a major Disney film. So far there have only been crumbs that can be easily missed or explained away.

    There are gay characters in the High School Musical show on Disney+, which is a step in the right direction. Even if their romance is even more chaste than the already super chaste straight characters, it’s something.
     

    fabfemmeboy

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 17, 2014
    Does anyone not see the necessary designation of one day as “Gay Days” any longer?

    I just think that we have become so accepted loved and ingrained in society that we don’t need a special designated day as everyday is pretty much “Gay day”.

    I have walked with my husband in Disney and never ever have been made to feel anything other than loved and welcomed.

    Now with having a son and people see two dads I feel like people come up all the time respectfully giving us warm regards as well.

    To me, Disney represents family, acceptance and Inclsuon. I feel that we have succeeded in all aspects as gay people without having a special day as everyday is special.

    thoughts and feelings?
    I'm glad you feel "accepted loved and ingrained in society." I don't...certainly not yet. Hate crimes have been rising over the last 10 years, states still try to find ways out of giving even the most basic rights, there's no federal protection for anyone, and I don't know a single LGBTQ+ person who hasn't had slurs screamed at them more than once. LGBTQ+ suicide rates are down from a decade ago but still much higher than non-GSM peers. I live in a diverse, liberal area and the nearest big city is a gay mecca, but that still doesn't mean I feel accepted or loved by society as a whole, particularly not in places outside California. While it is certainly easier to be a couple in public than it was in 1991 when Gay Days began, there is something incredibly nice about not having to watch your back for a day. To say nothing of the power that comes from seeing an entire sea of People Like Me. It's the thing I love and miss about Pride (which in my area has become more about non-queer friends coming to party) and something I think everyone should get to experience as often as possible. To not be the Other for a day.

    I'll agree that Disney has been far more accepting and inclusive than most other companies or entities, but that doesn't mean Gay Days should stop. To me, that means there's room to go further. DLP had an official Pride event last summer that included rainbow merch and a parade and a lot of wink-wink-nod-nod queering of characters and a dance party and just general celebration of gayness. Not just "you're here and we love you anyway," but "you are awesome and deserve happiness."
     
  • CampbellzSoup

    Son. Husband. Father.
    Joined
    Oct 4, 2014
    I don’t mean to be dismissive, there just seem to be two approaches here: The first is that since many heterosexuals now accept LGBTQ+ people the event is no longer necessary. The second is that LGBTQ+ people need their own events to support each other as a community. I side with the second approach.

    I hate the idea of getting rid of a gay event because most straight people are “OK with us now.” That’s certainly not every LGBTQ+ person’s experience and is naive given the lack of legal protections we still face on the federal and in many cases local level.

    I would love to see a full-fledged gay character or storyline in a major Disney film. So far there have only been crumbs that can be easily missed or explained away.

    There are gay characters in the High School Musical show on Disney+, which is a step in the right direction. Even if their romance is even more chaste than the already super chaste straight characters, it’s something.
    You grossly misrepresented what I said, such dishonesty.

    “most straight people are “OK with us now.”

    Who said that?
     

    ej119

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 15, 2013
    I feel that we have succeeded in all aspects as gay people without having a special day as everyday is special.
    I think this statement might be why some of us think you have oversimplified the current state of LGBTQ affairs and rights.

    I live in San Francisco and feel privileged to not have to hide my marriage and sexual orientation. I've also been to Disney Parks and cruises around the world and have, mostly, felt entirely comfortable. But I also see value in LGBTQ-specific experiences and spaces -- especially as we have seen identity-based violence and discrimination increase over recent years.

    I also read quite a bit of judgement in your statement "I just don’t think that day best reflects who we are as a community anyway." It concerns me when fellow queer folks start policing other queer folks around what's appropriate vs. inappropriate.

    Disney is a safe space for so many of us, but being able to gather together as a group and celebrate our similarities is still so important even if every day at Disney can be special.
     

    tcufrog

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 18, 2012
    I'm not going to state this clearly since politics aren't allowed on the DIS but you'll be able to read between the lines. Within the past few years, certain powerful people and groups in the US have made very strong efforts to walk back the progress made in the area of LGBTQ rights. There are also too many parts of the world where people can't live as LGBTQ openly safely. In fact, there are too many in the US who still are afraid to come out of the closet. Coming to a Gay Day may provide them with something they can't get at home, a safe sense of community. I'm hetero but I would really hate for your hard-fought-for rights to be taken away. I don't think it's time yet for Gay Days to go away.
     

    VandVsmama

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 28, 2011
    I guess my opinion is events like gay days are important for bringing the LGBTQ+ community together in celebration. So many people still have no choice but to blend in & not draw attention in their daily lives. Sometimes it’s just nice to not be the only person like you in the room.
    Hopefully someone else can find a more eloquent way to explain this. I feel like I can’t find the proper words.
    I agree.
     

    DuskKodesh

    Marvel Hero in Training
    Joined
    Aug 11, 2019
    Even if in your area loved and accepts you (Definitely not always true where I am in southern Ohio) sometimes it's nice to be at a fun place with people you know won't judge you at no matter what. I can understand why you could form the opinion that it is antiquated but I raise the counterpoint of 'what is the harm in it continuing?'
     

    aggiedog

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 13, 2012
    I have a LGBTQ+ daughter who would LOVE to go to Gay Days. We do not live in an area that is fully supportive, though she is out and comfortable with herself. I think there a many young people who would love to be in an environment where they are not only fully accepted but celebrated, if only for a few days.
     

    CampbellzSoup

    Son. Husband. Father.
    Joined
    Oct 4, 2014
    I have a LGBTQ+ daughter who would LOVE to go to Gay Days. We do not live in an area that is fully supportive, though she is out and comfortable with herself. I think there a many young people who would love to be in an environment where they are not only fully accepted but celebrated, if only for a few days.
    Why wouldon’t your daughter be accepted any other day at Disney?
     

    ej119

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 15, 2013
    Why wouldon’t your daughter be accepted any other day at Disney?
    I think you are equating general acceptance without considering the microagressions that are (often inadvertently) leveled at LGBTQ visitors. 90% of my Disney experiences have been overwhelmingly positive. But its the subtle things: for example, Disney photographers asking straight couples to pose while kissing and hugging but then asking my husband and I to pose doing a high five or back-to-back (we have since started refusing). Or being on a Disney cruise and having our stateroom host pull out the sofa bed night after night (until we kindly asked him to stop).

    Again, I believe Disney, as a company, is truly welcoming of all LGBTQ people, but having the space or day to enjoy a shared experience with other queer folks at the most magical place on earth can be invaluable to many -- as evidenced by many of the previous posters' responses in this thread.
     

    aggiedog

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 13, 2012
    Accepted, overall, yes. We haven't been, but pictures I've seen it looks like it's more than acceptance, trending towards celebration. Maybe not officially from the park, but definitely from other patrons. I think for young people (and old) it is invaluable to feel that confirmation.
     





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