Written by Josue Santiago Friday, 06 May 2011 00:00
Orlando Florida's Gay Days celebration is back this year with a theme that will roundup all the “Cowboys” at the happiest place on earth! With its inception in 1991, the event has grown exponentially from a one day event attracting 3,000 to a weeklong event with more than 150,000 celebrants from across the nation and around the globe! In its 21st year, the event continues to grow thanks to the hard work of its supporters and the GLBCC of Orlando – the birthplace of this fabulous event.
While it had pretty rocky beginnings – being attacked by the American Family Association, enduring the dire prophecies of Pat Robertson and suffering the indignity of signs at Disney entrances "warning" others of the presence of large numbers of gay and lesbian visitors – the event has come out on top! Today, most of the controversy and apathy have disappeared. Now, smiling Disney cast members welcome Gay Days visitors with unscheduled entertainment at the Castle Forecourt, expanded park operating hours, and a fireworks display usually reserved for the peak summer season and holidays. Even hotels and motels all over Orlando are getting with the program by signing the "Gay Days Friendly Pledge."
If this is your first time to Orlando Gay Days, it can get pretty daunting! There's something going on all over the city, not just at the Magic Kingdom, for everyone! There are hotel events, city parties and of course, theme park visits. Unfortunately, it's all way too much to print here, but don't despair, the good people at GayDays.com have you covered! Visit the site and hover the cursor over “About Us” and then “Guide to Gay Days” for an excellent beginner's guide to all the festivities. Also, be sure to click on the “Calendar” tab at the top of the page to see this year's activities.
So what does this all mean for you? It means that we get to live the Disney dream with our partners, families and friends in a welcoming environment. Also, it means that Orlando as a whole, has become ever more embracing of who we are. We can be a part of something really special and most importantly… we get to have a freaking blast while doing it!