Quick, what is the biggest event of the year at Walt Disney Workd? Well, if you mean official event it would be Marathon Weekend. But if you include the unofficial events, then the winner is probably Gay Days. Now in its 24th year, you can tell how close this event is by the number of pearls being clutched by the so called family values crowd. But despite a truly staggering burst of social progress, Disney still does not acknowledge this event in any way.
It’s especially strange given how pro-gay they really are. They were famously the target of a decade long boycott by the Southern Baptists over the unforgivable sin of treating their employees like human beings. And to their credit, they held firm. The boycott ended with not a single demand being met. They are pro marriage equality and receive a perfect score from HRC among companies to work for. Have you met the Cast Members? A sizable number of them are gay. You cannot visit Disney and avoid gay people. They are the ones making sure your family is having a good time.
So why so squeamish on Gay Days? They keep inching closer, last year selling merchandise that was specifically for the event in all but name. Gay people are no longer the fringe of society. The majority of the country is now pro-gay. Having the event be unofficial still implies some sort of shame.
There are many, including some gay people, who think that Disney is not the place for this kind of event. I disagree. I do agree that as a family friendly establishment, the rules of behavior must be enforced. I have yet to meet anyone who things that the Magic Kingdom should become The Cock for a day. But this doesn’t happen, at least not by the vast majority of attendees. The few bad apples should be thrown out.
And this is how being an official event can help. It gives Disney control. They determine the schedule, the rules, the hours. Everything. It would apply a consistent message of both celebration and family friendliness. They could even do a hard ticket event where the rules are relaxed for an adult only crowd.
This is what they do for the christian music Night of Joy event. I would never attend this particular event, but they have every right to have it. Incidentally, here are some accounts of sex and drugs in the Magic Kingdom during this oh so holy event. But I digress.
For those who do want to avoid Gay Days, having it on the official calendar of events would allow them fair “warning” before scheduling their trip. Right now it’s often a surprise.
And I am sorry but if you ask the question “what do I tell my children” you are homophonic. I know you claim otherwise but you are. Again, nothing explicit should be allowed, but kissing is not explicit. Its normal. Your kids probably don’t even care, and it doesn’t matter anyway. Should people of other religions be banned from the parks? Why is it not worse to have to explain to your children that the people in the headscarves believe your entire view on god and life is wrong? Way worse than men and women kissing as far as I am concerned.
This whole idea that gay and family are opposing ideas is beyond dated at this point. Disney needs to stop tacitly playing into it. Take this celebration, make it your own, put your spin on it, and leave the rest in the dustbin of history.
- Their values being the only acceptable ones of course. ↩
- Hard ticket events are not included in standard admission and require separate, explicit purchase. ↩
- I have never been there for this event so this is of course all anecdotal. Then again, a lot of the complaints are about what people think is going on at Gay Days rather than the reality. ↩