Disneyland is about to get a little more trans friendly!
The theme park, which recently reopened after months of being shut down due to the global pandemic, has updated the speech given during their nightly fireworks show to be more gender-inclusive, the Orange County Register reports.
When it’s time for the firework show to start, it will no longer begin with the phrase, “ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls.” Instead a more inclusive “good evening, friends” will be used. These changes were made before the recent Fourth of July holiday.
Disney World in Orlando, Florida made a similar move when it changed its opening greeting to “good evening, dreamers of all ages.” Disney began testing the new greeting on June 30 following a similar change made at Tokyo Disneyland in March.
Disneyland also recently announced that they would make the parks more inclusive by selling more rainbow-themed LGBTQ+ merch at the park, and by allowing employees to better express themselves with gender-inclusive allowances for hairstyles, jewelry, nail styles, costume choices, and visible tattoos. These changes were praised by activists.
“Disney’s move is a powerful example of a company that is walking the walk on inclusion and belonging,” Erin Uritus, president of Out and Equal, said in a statement at the time. “With these changes, cast members can bring their full, authentic selves to their work. More Disney guests will be able to see themselves reflected in the diversity of people across all levels of the company.”
Of course, Disney has a long, long way to go to make the theme park, and the company overall, truly inclusive. While queer creators like The Owl House’s Dana Terrace, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series’ Tim Federle, and Loki’s Kate Herron are fighting to get some queer representation on and behind the screen, the company at large continues to hold the LGBTQ+ community at arm's length.
Despite being one of the gayest movies we’ve seen in years, the director of Disney and Pixar’s latest film, Luca, denies that anything queer is happening in the movie. “It’s also specifically a little bit pre-romance,” Enrico Casarosa told Out. “That was something that I was interested in as well because there’s just that moment that maybe we’re not thinking about boyfriends and girlfriends yet, which is really more about friendships."
His “no homo” comments echo a similar statement made by The Falcon & The Winter Soldier star Anthony Mackie, who complained about fans shipping his character with Sebastian Stan’s.
“It used to be guys could be friends, we could hang out, we could do this, and it was cool,” Mackie said. “You would always meet your friends at the bar, but you can’t do that anymore, because something as pure and beautiful as homosexuality has been exploited by people who are trying to rationalize themselves.”
We’re excited to see that Disneyland is taking more steps to be inclusive to the LGBTQ+ community, but as always, we know there’s more to be done.