Gay Days at Walt Disney World

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People attending Gay Day dressed in red, in front of the Cinderella Castle

Gay Days at Walt Disney World is a loosely organized event where lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals, their families, friends and supporters go to Disney World on a single day each year. Held on the first Saturday in June (with numerous other events in the area during the preceding week), it is now one of the largest gay pride events in the world. [1]

History[edit]

The first event, in 1991, had 3,000 gays and lesbians from central Florida going to area theme parks on one day wearing red shirts to make their presence more visible. By 1995, the event had grown to 10,000 gays and lesbians traveling for the gay day at Disney. As of 2010 approximately 150,000 LGBTs, their families, friends and supporters attended the six-day gathering (including various pool parties, conventions, festivals, a business expo, activities for kids, etc.) with 20,000 to 30,000 going to Disney on the final day.[1]

The popularity of the event is seen by some attendees as a way of "reclaiming" normal joys of childhood lost to homophobia in their earlier years. Growth in attendance also reflects the growing number of LGBT families with children.[1]

Reactions[edit]

While Disney does not sanction Gay Days (and officially tells employees to treat it as any other summer day), conservative Christian-right groups accuse Disney of not doing anything to stop the event.[1] The Southern Baptist Convention boycotted Disney for eight years. Another organization flew banner planes one year warning families of gay events at Disney that weekend.[2]

A local Doubletree resort has dubbed itself the "official" hotel for the event, with convention space rented to various businesses (bathroom remodelers, gourmet cooking suppliers, sex toys, etc.) and organizations (free health tests, vaccinations, etc.) pitching to attendees.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Cloud, John. Time, 21 June 2010, "How Gay Days Made a Home at Disney World"
  2. ^ Busdeker, Jon (31 May 2013). ""Warning: Gay Day at Disney 6/1" banner flown over Central Florida". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 19 August 2013. 

External links[edit]