Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Convenient Homophobia in the Parks

Making headlines this week in the world of Disney fandom, the group "One Million Moms" has actively spoken out about Walt Disney World's unofficial "Gay Days."  Although both coasts celebrate Gay Days at their consecutive Parks, the Orlando Days are coming up as the first weekend in June and invoking this outrage.  Also, Disney does not endorse the Gay Days, making it "unofficial," and it has about the same status as a convention of any other sort.  There are park meet-ups, after parties, etc., and is basically a member-run event similar to a family reunion, business conference, or school trip.

A sea of red, the color participants are encouraged to wear during Gay Days

One Million Moms is a group whose purpose is "to stop the exploitation of our children, especially by the entertainment media" by contacting those in charge of said media and expressing their distaste.  They are conservative and most of the examples of offensive material are commercials that push the boundaries of language and modesty.  But there are also complaints of "normalizing homosexuality" as it doesn't make for "clean entertainment." Their plea for support on the attack of Gay Days is as follows:

"Please click on the following link to send your email to Disney's CEO and other Disney officials urging the park to no longer "go along" with Gay Day. Disney should monitor this day and event for public displays of affection and require proper conduct and appropriate attire. This should always be policed, but especially on Gay Day"

The beautiful irony of this homophobic debacle is that Walt Disney World's president, George Kalogridis, is openly gay.  The man representing the park and overseeing its goings on, things these Moms enjoy on their park visits, is ultimately one of the targets of their hatred.  Plenty of the Cast Members are responsible for the atmosphere that they enjoy when they take their families to the parks, and are also not accepted by One Million Moms.  Disney even has formed groups such as PRIDE (People Respecting Individual Diversities in Everyone) which serves LGBT and ally Cast Members with resources and a support network.  
But this doesn't seem to cross their mind as they pick and choose who they direct their discrimination toward.  

They don't believe the general public should be subjected to the openness of large amounts of LGBTs enjoying the same Disney magic they enjoy.  Never mind that there are other guests who may become empowered or happy by seeing the joy of those participating in Gay Days.  They are afraid of the very qualities that come from the same people who help make the magic every day.  They go through their lives with the mindset "straight until proven gay," (which is demonstrated here with Disney) instead of just accepting that everyone is different and that's what makes unique exceptional experiences.

The bottom line is that homophobia is flawed.  You can't pick and choose when preaching your version of morality.  If you fight LGBT pride in Disney, you can't embrace the rest of the Disney parks, whose philosophies include creating great experiences for everyone.  It is hypocritical, ignorant, and harmful to the children of these "moms" to be subjected to this illogical way of thinking.  Here's hoping this year's Gay Days go off without a hitch and the powers of love and acceptance overcome those of fear and prejudice. 

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