Never will Joseph Clark forget his first Gay Days.
He recalled the annual Pride celebration, which is neither sponsored by nor limited to Disney but takes place in Walt Disney World and other locations in the Orlando area, saying, “Just getting off the (monorail) and seeing the sea of red shirts, to this day it gives me chills.” Simply put, it changed my life.
In 2008, Clark attended frequently and cobbled together his own red shirt with buddies. He added that the goal is to “dress red, be noticed,” not so much as a demonstration but more a celebration of individuality. He is currently the CEO of GayDays.com.
There was no passing judgement because “it was just a big gathering of individuals together,” he claimed. “No “Oh my God, they’re gay” was heard. Yep, the most of us were, or we were with friends and allies who weren’t and who were simply welcoming to the community. It altered the course of my life.”
How were Gay Days first established?
GLBT Days A group of friends agreed to gather at Disney World in red shirts thirty years ago, and that’s how Orlando got its start. Since then, it has grown to become an annual, multiday event that brings more than 180,000 visitors to the Orlando region from all over the world.
When are the 2023 Gay Days?
This year, Gay Days in Orlando take place from May 31 through June 4. The webpage for the event specifies the exact dates each year, which always fall in the first few days of June.
How do red shirt days work? Red Shirt Day falls on what day?
Red shirt days, which are arguably the most well-known aspect of Gay Days, are occasions when participants wear red shirts to particular parks to celebrate their identities or to show solidarity for others. These resemble informal get-togethers without any required socialising or formal events.
People are having a great time in the parks and living their best Disney lives, Clark added.
Red shirt day at Magic Kingdom is customarily held on the first Saturday in June, but other parks also celebrate this tradition. For instance, June 2 is a red shirt day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Universal Islands of Adventure, and June 1 is a red shirt day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and SeaWorld Orlando.
Gay Days are open to supporters and people who identify as LGBTQ+.
The attendees at our events and when they are there are 100% welcoming to everyone, according to Clark. “They merely want to have a good time. I make light of the fact that my job entails creating a huge celebration for everyone.”
What is the price of Gay Days?
Red shirt days at theme parks only require participants to pay for park admission. In addition to tickets, keep in mind that Disney World requires park reservations.
The cost of other activities varies. GayDays Drag Bingo is $25 at the door and $15 in advance. In addition to package prices, pool parties start at $30 in advance and $35 at the door. Costs for the Taste of GayDays food and wine event are $50 at the door and $40 in advance. In Aquatica Orlando, the Beach Ball is $90. The calendar for LGBT Days Orlando has additional activities and information.
What are the activities during Gay Days?
While many Gay Days guests visit theme parks, the Orlando host hotel also hosts a variety of other events like well-liked pool parties, Drag Bingo, expos, and more. This year, Aquatica Orlando, a sponsor of the event, will also host a brand-new Beach Ball waterpark party.
It’s Orlando, Florida, you know,” Clark added. Everyone has a lot to choose from.
Are Gay Days OK for children?
Most activities, including the Miss GayDays pageant, which will be hosted this year by “RuPaul’s Drag Race” competitor CoCo Montrese and Miss GayDays 2019 Twila Holiday, are available to all ages, however some are adults-only.
Specifically, Clark likens the occasion to “the family that gets along reunion” at a family gathering.
Are there any reservations about Florida hosting Gay Days this year?
In light of the state’s political atmosphere and the passage of what some refer to as Florida’s Don’t Say Gay law, which forbids talks of sexual orientation and gender identity in elementary schools, Clark said some have questioned if this year’s event will still take place.
“I respond to them by saying, “Yeah, of course we’re still moving forward.” Going back into the closet and hiding from everything is one thing we cannot do “said he. “While there has always been controversy and opposition to our event over the past 30 years, it hasn’t been stopped. And it’s only gotten bigger and will keep becoming bigger. And I believe that the most important thing we can do is to actually let folks know that we are here. We’re here, we’re queer is the catchphrase, right? We don’t want to lose that war if they win in the alternative.”