After much consideration regarding the devastation this week in New York City and Washington, D.C., organizers for Gay Day at Disneyland announced Friday that the event will take place as scheduled. Known as Gay Day 2--in deference to the original Gay Day, which takes place in Florida's Disney World each June--the gathering will occur October 5-7 at the two theme parks that make up the Disneyland resort in Anaheim, Calif. "We know it is hard to be excited when you continue to see tragedy unfolding on the news," says Scott Crews, a producer for Watermark Entertainment Group, one of the events' sponsors. "But eventually people will want to do things to make them feel better and closer to others. We think Gay Day 2 is at the right time."
This is the fourth year for the grassroots Gay Day at Disneyland, during which gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered Disney visitors and their friends and families come together at the theme parks, many wearing red T-shirts to identify one another and show strength in numbers. This year, according to organizers, the weekend begins with "Homos in Wonderland" on Friday night--a private, free party at the Pavilion at the Disneyland Hotel. Saturday is Gay Day at Disneyland, and Sunday for the first time will bring GLBT people in force to the new Disney's California Adventure theme park.
Gay Day is unofficial and organized without the explicit endorsement of the Walt Disney Co., which has a strict "everyone is welcome" policy at its theme parks. Antigay protests have been announced for past Gay Day events at Disneyland, but the turnout for the protesters has so far been insignificant. Last year the crowds of gays and lesbians swelled to an unofficial count of nearly 10,000, organizers say, with even more expected this year. Groups that are organizing contingents to attend the event range from the Family Pride Coalition to Bears LA. For more information visit www.gayday2.com.