Are gay days an antiqued concept?

kylenne

Wakandan-American
Joined
Oct 16, 2016
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).
Me and my gf get “gal pal’d” so often in the parks we joke about wearing those cheesy matching couple shirts on our next trip. Of course, that just opens more problems since it’s difficult to find ones that aren’t heteronormative.

I’ve wanted to go to Gay Days ever since I first heard about it as closeted teen in the 90s. I’m hoping it falls on our 2021 dates. To me it’s just like Pride tbh.
 

VandVsmama

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 28, 2011
I think it's an important yearly tradition that should continue. If one is living in a part of the world and in a community which is open, accepting, and supportive of LGBTQ+ individuals, then it might seem like WDW/DL Gay Days is an antiquated concept.

However, one should consider that not everyone lives in such an environment. Consider the individual who feels they have to keep part of themselves under wrap in order to stay under the radar, in order to not be discriminated against at work, with their family/extended family, at their places of worship (if applicable), etc.

There are also still places in the world in which being LGBTQ can land you in prison or sentenced to death.

For all of those reasons, I think it's essential for every LGBTQ+ person to have something like this in which they can all let down their hair for a few days, feel free to hold hands with their spouses/significant others, and just be who they have always been deep down inside and to not have to hide it or put on a mask. Even if it's just for a few days on your WDW or DL trip, it can be a wonderful respite and safe haven from the craziness of the rest of the world.

There's something pretty special about seeing the Mark Twain riverboat cruise around the Rivers of America i Disneyland full of people wearing red shirts during Disneyland's Gay Days. I think it's pretty great and I hope it continues for many years to come.
 


chicagodisneyguy

Mouseketeer
Joined
Nov 19, 2008
My partner's cousin has a high school aged daughter who is a lesbian. They are from a very conservative small town in Indiana. Their school refused to have a LGBTQ club. They've come up to Chicago for Pride the last two years and she has an absolute ball. She made a comment that she felt like she could be herself for the first time in her life. I think we all have had that moment and I think that's a very important moment. I have to think some have had that moment at Gay Days. I am all for keeping any event that allows people to feel that. I think Gay Days, along with any Pride event, helps affirm that feeling of community and acceptance.

I don't think any event that allows people to celebrate who they are will ever be "antiquated". While Pride events might not be as ground breaking as they once were, I would argue they still have importance to today's 15 year olds as they did in the past decades. And really I think they are important to our community as a whole and always will.
 
  • DisLiss

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 2, 2018
    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.
    I was thinking along these lines as well. There will always be a new generation of LGBTQ+ kids out there. Even if some adults feel like it's no longer necessary or relevant or expressive to the needs and wants of some LGBTQ+ (older) adults, there still may be many teens/ young adults who have heard of it but never had a chance to experience it yet and who would really like to do so. :) (Or who have experienced it with their family, but have yet to have an opportunity to experience it with a significant other.)
     

    Chuck S

    DVC Co-Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Feb 6, 2000
    I was never one for the private tickets events, but that said, I think there is still a need for that sense of community that the more public aspect of GayDays provides, like in the parks...which, after all, is what it's roots were intended to be. Many in our community still live in areas throughout the world, including parts of the US, where open acceptance just isn't happening.
     

    Lumpy1106

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 2, 2010
    As a "straight", If I may be so bold as to speak for the OP (OP, please correct if I have this wrong), having a "Gay Day" leaves open the opportunity for someone who is not so open-minded to say, "OK, Gay Day was last weekend, now let's go back to normal" and that's not the goal at all. When you visit Disney, acceptance is the "normal" no matter what day you visit. I mean, that's the way I see it, but that's every day anyway where I live. My POV may not be everyone's POV - I get that.
     
  • kylenne

    Wakandan-American
    Joined
    Oct 16, 2016
    As a "straight", If I may be so bold as to speak for the OP (OP, please correct if I have this wrong), having a "Gay Day" leaves open the opportunity for someone who is not so open-minded to say, "OK, Gay Day was last weekend, now let's go back to normal" and that's not the goal at all. When you visit Disney, acceptance is the "normal" no matter what day you visit. I mean, that's the way I see it, but that's every day anyway where I live. My POV may not be everyone's POV - I get that.
    Even at Disney parks, some of the most accepting places on earth where a lot of CMs are "family", we still experience microaggressions. As others have mentioned, there are many places where LGBT people are still discriminated against and are not able to be safely out. Where we are accepted, a lot of that acceptance is really conditional on perceived gender conformity. My gf is very butch presenting and has experienced harassment from cishet women in restrooms in the most accepting places you can think of, including at Disney.

    Also, acceptance varies wildly depending on what letter of the acronym you are. Trans acceptance is lagging considerably in the US and trans women of color in particular face horrific levels of discrimination and violence. The narrative that we've "overcome" as a community simply doesn't reflect the current reality, again without getting into politics which are not allowed on the boards, we are seeing rights being chipped away at. Even here in NYC, home of Stonewall where we only recently hosted World Pride, anti-LGBT hate crimes are on the rise. Gay Days, just like other kinds of Pride type events, can serve an important purpose in fostering a sense of community. Especially for young people who might be struggling with their identity.
     

    kylenne

    Wakandan-American
    Joined
    Oct 16, 2016
    Come to think of it, this made me think of an experience I had back in November. I was camped out on the 2nd floor of Mitsukoshi in the Japan pavilion, right outside Teppan Edo, waiting for Epcot Forever to start. There was a family, all adults, who came up next to me and we struck up a conversation. Usually as a solo guest I will bring up my gf's work if people ask why I'm alone (she does art restoration and it's harder for her to get time off). The mom from the family started asking me for advice because her niece is a young questioning teen and she didn't know what to do because the kid's mom is close-minded. I did the best I could, remembering how hard my own upbringing was (my family is very homophobic), and offered some youth resources I knew about. Well, by the end of that talk we exchanged hugs and a few tears.

    The world is still very hard and scary for a lot of us. Anything to help us feel like we're not alone is still so important.
     

    peabody58

    I'm just a drummer in a R&R Band!!
    Joined
    Mar 28, 2010
    Very informative thread. As a straight male with conservative leaning views, but consider myself open minded to the communities; I have enjoyed the individual honesty and personalization of these comments as they shed light on issues I am not normally aware of or think about much. I do draw the line though. Last year we met a nice gay couple from Chicago (our past life) on the monorail, carried on a nice conversation and was then appalled that they were White Sox fans! Go Cubbies and Da Bears!
     

    CampbellzSoup

    Son. Husband. Father.
    Joined
    Oct 4, 2014
    Me and my gf get “gal pal’d” so often in the parks we joke about wearing those cheesy matching couple shirts on our next trip. Of course, that just opens more problems since it’s difficult to find ones that aren’t heteronormative.

    I’ve wanted to go to Gay Days ever since I first heard about it as closeted teen in the 90s. I’m hoping it falls on our 2021 dates. To me it’s just like Pride tbh.
    It’s hard to find disney couple shirts for same couples?

    It took my two seconds on google:
    “disney lesibian couple shirts”
     
  • CampbellzSoup

    Son. Husband. Father.
    Joined
    Oct 4, 2014
    Very informative thread. As a straight male with conservative leaning views, but consider myself open minded to the communities; I have enjoyed the individual honesty and personalization of these comments as they shed light on issues I am not normally aware of or think about much. I do draw the line though. Last year we met a nice gay couple from Chicago (our past life) on the monorail, carried on a nice conversation and was then appalled that they were White Sox fans! Go Cubbies and Da Bears!
    I guess without politics we’re more conservative too and we’ve never had trouble in the parks at all. I guess I just don’t think that being gay is my only piece of identity so perhaps that’s why it’a more important to others.

    If you talk bad about the Mets we got problems!
     

    Dole_whip_doll

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 16, 2020
    My thoughts are: if there are Gay days....are there Native American days? African American days? Democrat days? Left handed days? Red-haired days? Goth days? Polygamy days? Etc etc etc. if what we really want is acceptance for all, aren’t characteristic-specific events pushing in the other direction?
     

    Luxurious_Lumiere

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 6, 2017
    My thoughts are: if there are Gay days....are there Native American days? African American days? Democrat days? Left handed days? Red-haired days? Goth days? Polygamy days? Etc etc etc. if what we really want is acceptance for all, aren’t characteristic-specific events pushing in the other direction?
    No, gay days does not push things in the other direction. Gay Days is essentially Orlando's Pride. June is Pride month in most places. You mention African American days...we also have Black History Month in February. Native American Heritage Month is in November. There are certainly other days/weeks/months where other groups celebrate their history and community, and take time to have perspective on where they have come from, the progress they have achieved, and to look forward to the future. If other groups want to have their own special day, no one is stopping them.

    Gay Days/Pride (and other history months mentioned above) are for a traditionally marginalized community. LGBTQ people still do not have equal protections in the US in many aspects of law, and certainly in countries around the world where homosexuality is still considered a crime. In some places, still punishable by death. In the US, an employer can still fire someone for being gay in more than half of our states. Housing discrimination laws are similarly lacking. Hate crimes have been on the rise in several many major cities as of late. Trans people, especially trans women of color, face an insane level of violence and abuse. LGBTQ youth are still regularly shunned by family and kicked out of homes, and as much as 40% of the homeless population is estimated to be LGBTQ. Just the other day, a city worker started hurling anti-gay insults and the "other" f word at me in NYC...in a gayborhood. Discrimination still exists. People who do not belong to a marginalized group may not have experiences of discrimination like these, solely for being who they are. That's why majority groups tend not to have "special days," since they do not constantly have to fight for their right to exist.

    My being gay is not the only facet of my life, but it has drastically altered my experiences: the way people interact with me, and thus the way I interact with people, it has formed a certain lens to life as I'm sure it has for many gay people because of their lived experiences. So yes gay days/pride is important, and no it doesn't push acceptance back. It is a time when I can remember those who came and fought and died before me. Where I can remind myself to cherish my community (past and present) and the parts of me that make me unique and have shaped my life experiences, instead of letting others highlight it as negative or wrong. I'm glad there is some type of Pride celebration at Disney where queer people can experience this for themselves and come together as a community in a joyous way.
     

    Dole_whip_doll

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 16, 2020
    No, gay days does not push things in the other direction. Gay Days is essentially Orlando's Pride. June is Pride month in most places. You mention African American days...we also have Black History Month in February. Native American Heritage Month is in November. There are certainly other days/weeks/months where other groups celebrate their history and community, and take time to have perspective on where they have come from, the progress they have achieved, and to look forward to the future. If other groups want to have their own special day, no one is stopping them.

    Gay Days/Pride (and other history months mentioned above) are for a traditionally marginalized community. LGBTQ people still do not have equal protections in the US in many aspects of law, and certainly in countries around the world where homosexuality is still considered a crime. In some places, still punishable by death. In the US, an employer can still fire someone for being gay in more than half of our states. Housing discrimination laws are similarly lacking. Hate crimes have been on the rise in several many major cities as of late. Trans people, especially trans women of color, face an insane level of violence and abuse. LGBTQ youth are still regularly shunned by family and kicked out of homes, and as much as 40% of the homeless population is estimated to be LGBTQ. Just the other day, a city worker started hurling anti-gay insults and the "other" f word at me in NYC...in a gayborhood. Discrimination still exists. People who do not belong to a marginalized group may not have experiences of discrimination like these, solely for being who they are. That's why majority groups tend not to have "special days," since they do not constantly have to fight for their right to exist.

    My being gay is not the only facet of my life, but it has drastically altered my experiences: the way people interact with me, and thus the way I interact with people, it has formed a certain lens to life as I'm sure it has for many gay people because of their lived experiences. So yes gay days/pride is important, and no it doesn't push acceptance back. It is a time when I can remember those who came and fought and died before me. Where I can remind myself to cherish my community (past and present) and the parts of me that make me unique and have shaped my life experiences, instead of letting others highlight it as negative or wrong. I'm glad there is some type of Pride celebration at Disney where queer people can experience this for themselves and come together as a community in a joyous way.
    I know there are Pride celebrations/time frames, just as there are for the other groups. I am speaking specifically to the Disney parks. If there is a celebration day(s) for one specific group of people, it is exclusionary for other groups (no matter what the characteristic may be) to not have a specific day(s) in honor of them at a Disney Park.
     

    Dole_whip_doll

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 16, 2020
    Also, because this has always bugged me about that argument against "characteristic-specific events": Acceptance does not mean blending in to what the majority has decided is "normal" or "better."

    To accept someone is to accept a person's differences from yourself.
    exactly, which means you treat all the same, which means a specialized day is to treat someone different.
     
    Joined
    Jul 23, 2017
    If there is a celebration day(s) for one specific group of people, it is exclusionary for other groups (no matter what the characteristic may be) to not have a specific day(s) in honor of them at a Disney Park.
    A less charitable person would point out that LGBTQ+ Disney fans not being safe from this perverse line of reasoning, on a forum subsection that is supposed to be a safe place for them no less, is exactly the reason why events like Gay Days need to continue to exist.

    Of course, that's only what a less charitable person would say...
     





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