But you might notice a careful omission in that post. Nowhere does it mention the phrase "Gay Days."
Since Disney is selling the rainbow goodies only from October 5-7, it's clear that the promotion is aimed directly at the event. Granted, the Gay Days event is one of many fan-run events at the parks that are not sanctioned or organized by Disney, so it's understandable that Disney would not want to create an impression that it is running the event — "liability" is a dirty word to an entire department of risk-averse attorneys, after all. But Disney's avoidance of publicly acknowledging a traditionally marginalized group that it is seeking to make a lot of money from this weekend does bother some fans, both inside and allied with the gay community.
That said, it didn't take long for the anti-gay responses to hit Twitter after I tweeted about Disney's avoiding using the word "Gay" in its blog post. I try to be nice to everyone who engages with Theme Park Insider — since that's my job — but I have to beg your forgiveness when I snap and tweet smack at people who dismiss a group that includes a great many friends and acquaintances in this business.
I know that I can't demand that everyone get to a place of peace with the world's diversity at the same speed. Hey, I will admit that I was slower than some at getting there, and I'd rather people take it slowly than never get there at all. So I suppose that I need to extend that patience to the Walt Disney Company, as well. Embracing the term "Gay Days" as it embraces the event and its guests probably puts the company farther ahead of the public than it cares to be at this point. There remain a whole lot of Disney fans out there like the person I snapped back at on Twitter, after all.
So at least Disney is acknowledging Gay Days with merchandise and food now, even if it can't yet come out and tell the public why it's selling all this rainbow-themed stuff at the resort from October 5-7.
But let's give some credit to the Disney PR team for the sly use of "Come Out" as the imperative in the headline for its blog post, okay?
I would love to see the day arrive when Disney could find a way to embrace not just the event but also the title of Gay Days, without offending any of its fans... or lawyers. But until then, I welcome every step forward that we all take toward that day. Heck, with all those park-savvy Cast Members and former Cast Members in the parks on Gay Days, it might be the best weekend of the year to visit — regardless of whom you love or like.
So save us some rainbow cake and let's all enjoy another great weekend at Disneyland.
Update: Reader Roy D. offers a great teaching moment in the comments, in response to some earnest questions. I'd recommend reading down to that and then on through my reply.Tweet
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