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Disneyland Will Hold Its First Ever Official Pride Celebration. The Decision Comes At A Time Of Increasing Division Over LGBTQ Rights In The US

Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle at night, lit up in pink and purple, with a statue of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse in front.
In this handout photo provided by Disneyland Resort, a view of Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland Park illuminated during a special live streamed moment to welcome Cast Members back to the resort on April 26, 2021 at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. Disneyland Resort theme parks will reopen to guests on Friday, April 30.
(Christian Thompson
Disneyland Resort via Getty Images)
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The happiest place on Earth will have its first official LGBTQ+ celebration. Disneyland Resort announced yesterday that it will be holding its first Pride Nite this year on June 13th and 15th.

The summer celebration would go on later into the night with themed entertainment and Disney characters. While this is the park’s first official celebration of the queer community, thousands of LGBTQ+ Disney fans have been organizing unofficial "Gay Days" at Disneyland and at Orlando's Disney World Resort since 1991.

A complicated history

This comes, of course, after Disney’s complicated past with the queer community. In most recent years, the company came under intense scrutiny after it kept silent about Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Act, dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay Bill.” The bill passed and the now law prevents discussions about sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through 3rd grade classrooms.

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It was only after company employees expressed outrage over the silence that former CEO Bob Chapek publicly opposed the bill. Ever since, there has been a push for visibility of queer characters, at Disney theme parks and on screen.

Disney’s films have received mixed reviews for it’s LGBTQ+ depictions. The advocacy group GLAAD issued a report last year lauding Disney for its increase in representation.

However, it criticized the one-dimensional and stereotypical depictions of some of their characters.

The national overview

The decision by Disneyland to create official pride days comes at a time when an increasing number of anti-LGBTQ laws are being passed in conservative states. Human Rights Watch reported in February that the organization is tracking more than 300 anti-LGBTQ laws in state legislatures across the U.S.

What happened in recent days with Bud Light is one example of how intense this division has gotten.

After conservatives organized a boycott of the beer to protest the company's decision to partner with Dylan Mulvaney, an actress and trans influencer, Anheuser-Busch's CEO this week said: "We never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people. We are in the business of bringing people together over a beer."

The statement was titled "Our Responsibility To America."

Prior to that statement, GLAAD had noted that Anheuser-Busch has a long track record of advertising in LGBTQ communities. Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD's CEO, in a statement, said "what is new is the extreme right-wing politicization of a company's creative and business decisions."

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The details

Disneyland's first Pride Nite events fall during Pride Month. Tickets are limited and go on pre-sale for Magic Key holders beginning April 18 and to the general public starting on April 20 at

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