Wednesday, April 24, 2024

LGBTQ+ Disney employees slam company over anti gay ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill stance

Disney has donated money to every sponsor of the new, anti gay bill, Don’t Say Gay, as confirmed by the Orlando Sentinel (via Vacationer Magazine). The bill, also known as the ‘Parental Rights in Education’ bill, has led to many Disney employees protesting the company’s donation.

One such employee is the creator of Disney Channel’s The Owl House, Dana Terrace. The Owl House features a queer romance between characters Amity and Luz, as well as a non-binary character, Raine. It’s no surprise then that Terrace took to social media to express their feelings on the internal statement from Disney CEO Bob Chapek to employees about the bill.

“I’m f*cking tired of making Disney look good,” was what Terrace tweeted yesterday night. They then proceeded to talk about why standing up against Disney was so hard, particularly because of being put in the position of having to decide whether they can feed themself or support “their loved ones.”

Terrence ended their video by promoting an upcoming charity stream on her Twitch channel, scheduled for March 13th, where all money raised would be sent to LGBTQ charities.

However, Terrence wasn’t the only Disney employee willing to speak out against the company’s reluctance to speak out against Florida’s anti gay bill. Several others, such as LGBTQ+ animation writer, Benjamin Siemon, also asked for Disney to take a stand against the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

“I was a super clearly [sic] awkward, gay kid, trying to figure out who he was. […] Luckily I had a teacher that was very kind and talked to me about it and told me there wasn’t anything wrong with being gay. It made a huge impact on my life.” Siemon says in a video on Twitter. “If the “Don’t Say Gay” bill passes in Florida, that would have never happened to me and I’d have been left alone and scared. LGBT kids are going to be left alone and scared and hurt by this bill, and teachers that are gay and married to partners won’t be able to talk about them. They’ll have to pretend that LGBTQ people don’t even exist.”

For context, the “Don’t Say Gay” bill will make it so that discussion around sexual orientation and gender identity in classrooms from kindergarten through to the third grade is prohibited in Florida. The bill also gives parents unlimited access to their children’s health and education records, which may not seem so bad at first, but considering there are abusive households and instances where children are not ‘out’ to their guardians, this bill could arguably put children in danger.

The bill is currently focused around elementary school but, according to Polygon, LGBTQ advocates “suggest the law could be taken advantage of.”

Despite developing inclusive, marginalized stories such as Encanto, Luca, Coco, Moana, and more, it seems like Disney’s solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community is only skin deep.

About The Author