Hey Hey Hey, It’s Disney’s Gay Days! – LGBT Weekend Travel Getaways

Know Your LGBT (Disney) History

 “’While Disney does not sponsor the event, the company accommodates any large group,’ said Suzi Brown, a Disneyland Resort spokeswoman. Disney quietly cooperates with Gay Days, such as by selling meal packages with rainbow Mickey cookies. Gay Days started in 1998 with 2,500 people unofficially gathering in Disneyland. Groups had protested and boycotted Disneyland, saying the event was not family-friendly. But large-scale, organized protests have been absent for several years.”

– Sarah Tully, for The Orange County Register

In spite of marked recent controversies,the years-long “unofficially official” tradition of Disney’s Gay Days continues to thrive.

In Anaheim, California, home to Disneyland, Gay Days attracts tens of thousands of people each year (well over 30,000 in 2013), while in Orlando, Florida, Gay Days attracts hundreds of thousands.

Ever quietly and unofficially gay-friendly, the Disney franchise enjoyed a “coming out” of sorts this year as the Walt Disney World resort ushered in George Kalogridis as its first openly gay president. The California and Florida Disney’s have always been somewhat distinguished from one another (hence California’s Disney parks didn’t receive much flak from protesters), but with the welcoming in of Kalogridis (prior president of California’s Disneyland) changes are in motion.

Too, the new president is planning more gay-inclusive luxury vacation bundles, trips and soirees for the discerning Mousekateers in the building.

What that means for you, dear sun-seekers and vacation lovers, is more LGBT-inclusive play, perks, and parks! CA to FL vacation packages for Gay Days vaycays? That’s just gotta be in the works, dontcha think?

Gay Days continues to book the best entertainers, so mark your calendars now: planned performers and festivities for Anaheim alone include drag diva extraordinaire Miss Coco Peru, “Glee’s” Alex Newell (Unique), DJ Kimberly S., and An Intimate Conversation with Tabatha Coffee.

Gay Days aren’t all just fun and games—there’s chill time scheduled with each itinerary as well. Event planners will hook you up with luxuriant brunches, exclusive concierge service and affiliated spa deals, because unwinding is a must. January Disney Resort sea cruises are also in the works. Loving that.

The newly-launched Gay Days Las Vegas (held in September)  speaks to the continued success of and ongoing demand for more LGBT-inclusive and family-friendly events at Disney and beyond.

Of course, Orlando events are better than ever, virtually unaffected by recent attempts at inciting controversy.

Gay Days aren’t just for boys. Tours and parties are always planned exclusively for women, men, and of course “Bears only,” in addition to the main events.

Yes, We Are Still Family.

 “Evan, Alix and Jamie had a great time with their moms at Disney World on June 5. They loved Disney’s afternoon Celebrate a Dream Come True parade, which they watched right up front, by the castle. Thousands of gays and lesbians and their families surrounded them. ‘That was really awesome and empowering,’  [An attendee said.] ‘The kids really felt part of the bigger picture.’ For the Couchman-Spencer family, the only controversy about Gay Days was how long to stay. The kids got tired. By the time Disney’s big nighttime electrical parade was over, the family had been at the park for 12 hours.”

– John Cloud, for Time Magazine

No, “One Million Moms:” Gay Days events are not Greco-Roman orgies (on what planet would that happen during “Disney time?”). Kids get to meet Mickey and Minnie accompanied and supervised by LGBTQ parents and families without encountering homophobic scrutiny, and that’s a beautiful thing.

So pick a city and book your trip. True: you’ll encounter the obligatory rainbow-sprinkled souvenirs, have your corny and kitsch quotient filled up to the brim for the year, and most of all you’ll have a lot of whole-hearted, “Goofy” fun.

For more information, visit the links below.

Gay Days Las Vegas –  September 3-9, 2013

Gay Days at Disneyland Anaheim October 4–6, 2013

Gay Days Orlando June 3-9 2014

Queens in the Kingdom: The Ultimate Gay and Lesbian Guide to the Disney Theme Parks

Gay Days & Girls Gay Days are a time-honored queer tradition. Therefore, we are ordering you, “fam” and friends to go forth and party. Do not refuse us—this is an order!


Middle Schooler trying to Start GSA in Florida

Middle Schooler trying to Start GSA in Florida

ACLU Gets Involved

Bayli Silberstein, 14, an openly bisexual, is attempting to form a gay-straight alliance at her Carver Middle School in Leesburg, Florida.  However, rather than letting her do so, the school board is considering eliminating all non-academic clubs from middle and high school campuses.

Parents, Community Members, and Students Protest

On February 18, 2013, dozens of students, community members, and parents attended a meeting of the Lake County School Board on Monday.  In unity with Bayli, they wore read “Standing with Bayli” shirts.  They urged the board to allow the gay-straight alliance according to the newspaper the Orlando Sentinel. A decision from the board is not expected until April.

The American Civil Liberties Union

Bayli said her application was denied last school year.  She reapplied last November, but didn’t hear from the school’s principal about the status of the application. The school board has not denied Silberstein’s second application.  However earlier in February, it drafted a policy that would put an end to any club that is not tied to a specific class. If this policy goes into place, Bayli’s gay-straight alliance club will not form.

The American Civil Liberties Union reported that Silberstein wanted to form the alliance to combat bullying against LGBT students.  Bayli’s application cited instances of physical abuse and name calling.  Citing the federal Equal Access Act, the ACLU has advised the school district that it cannot pick and choose which clubs to allow based on what they think students should or should not discuss.

Those Opposed to GSA

Some think the real issue is bullying and that students would not get the support they need in a gay-straight alliance.  One school board member feels that gay-straight clubs were tantamount to “social engineering.” Just two years ago, a teacher in Lake County told his students that gay men and women should be allowed to openly serve in the military “only if they were sent to the front lines with no weapons.”