I'm not sure who picks the day, or how word gets about, but in the middle of September, I always become aware that gay day is going to be some weekend in October at Disneyland. Most years I can't go, but today, I went with a group that calls itself "The Queerkateers" or sometimes "The QueerScouts."
Most of us wore red shirts, which was how we were supposed to recognize family. Of course, there are always the ones who don't wear red, but it was sort of easy to spot them. If two guys hugged and shared a brief kiss, chances were they were part of the tribe. If a guy walked off Splash Mountain, turned his back to his friend, and asked "did I get wet," and his friend quickly cupped his ass to feel for a wet spot, chances were pretty good neither one of them was hetero. If two women were walking around the park holding hands, a red shirt wasn't necessary.
Then there were the unintentional reds. We had a great time pointing out people in red who desperately clung to wives or girlfriends, as if they'd be dragged away otherwise. I saw some cruising, but for the most part, people were just hanging with friends. You know, like people do when they go to an amusement park - even gay people. Amazing how that happens. Humans acting like the rest of humanity. Not exactly revolutionary, radical, or offensive. Too bad some people couldn't see it that way. I was beside the Main Street City Hall and overheard a couple complaining to Disney staff about gays and lesbians in the park. "They were holding hands! We shouldn't be forced to stand in line with those kinds of people." (Direct quote from the man.)
First off - Gay Day is not an official Disney event. I'm sure Disney would put a stop to it if they could. (Never mind that half their staff seems to be family.)
Second - Some of the red shirts said "Gay Days 2006," but most of us wore whatever red t-shirt we owned, so it wasn't as if Disney could stop people from coming in who wore a certain shirt. The parks has been sued enough times for discrimination and civil rights abuses that they've wised up. (Best red t-shirts of the day "Hi. You'll Do," and, "I'm NOT with stupid. We just broke up.")
Third - As I pointed out above, not everyone who was gay was in red, and not everyone in red was gay.
Fourth - I see GBLT folk at Disneyland all the time on other weekends. If it weren't for the red shirts, would Mr. and Mrs. LittleMind have known who was gay? In their quest to have the lines segregated according to their narrow-minded view of who should be allowed out in public, did they also ask that Mexican families or Muslims be shunted off to the side? And did they stop to think that red shirts were MAYBE 2% to 5% of the entire crowd? I would have loved to have a special queuing area just for the Gay Days celebrants. Fewer feral kids, better eye candy, fun people to chat with in line, and that hour wait for Haunted Mansion would have been cut down to 15 minutes.
I know it's the job of Disney employees to mollify angry guests, but it would have been nice if the lady patiently listening to the couple whine would have said, "We have a rule against unaccompanied minors in the park, and since you two obviously still need to grow up, we're going to have to ask you to leave." Hey - it was Disneyland, the place for fantastic dreams.