Common name for the annual Gay and Lesbian Day(s) organized each June
at Walt Disney World
, Florida gay
has never been involved with organizing the event, but they know now to expect extra-high attendance that weekend, and have generally resisted attempts by other groups to try and force them to stop. (How could they stop it, other than not permitting people wearing red
to enter the park that weekend?)
The first one was June 8, 1991 at the Magic Kingdom -- a mention beforehand in a column of the Orlando Sentinel brought out about 2500 people for that one. The flyers put out by the organizers told people to wear bright red as a recognition badge. The national publicity started in 1993 when parents objected to their kids going to Disney World on a field trip the day of the gathering (and that year signs were posted outside the park stating that this event was going on, and greeters at the entrance were told to alert people to it as well -- a practice the park stopped in 1995.) That year an estimated 32,000 people attended for Gay Day, making a majority of the park's visitors.
The one-day event has expanded to a long weekend with different parks scheduled each day, and other events for the people who come into town for the parks are held all around Orlando. The web site at www.gayday.com says, "Gay Day is not a political statement, a protest, or a beg-fest for local charities. It's about making gay people feel good about themselves and "normal" and part of the community at large. It's a chance to experience a few days as the majority, but not in a 100% gay ghetto. And we're not talking about fantastic parties, though we certainly don't deny they're nice, too."