Uncle Roger's Notebooks of Daily Life

Monday, June 02, 2014

I'm Going To Disneyland

In the late 1980s, the Disney Corporation came up with and advertising campaign that consisted of primarily sports celebrities being asked what they would be doing next, having just won some championship or something and then responding with "I'm going to Disneyland!" The campaign was brilliant; it certainly seems to have cemented in people's mind that Disneyland is the place to go when you want to celebrate some achievement or award. For us, however, it was the other way around.

I'm Celebrating! We had planned a family trip to Disneyland in the summer of 2013, arranging to be there the week of my daughter's birthday, June 27. And so it was that on the morning of June 26, in between trips to get giant waffles from the free breakfast buffet, we heard the news on the hotel room television: the Supreme Court had overturned both California's Prop 8 and key portions of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Tears of joy streamed down our faces as we toted muffins and scrambled eggs back to the room to eat as we dressed for our day in the park.

Not everyone knows this, but if it's your birthday, you can go to City Hall in Disneyland (or certain other kiosks) and get a big button that says "Happy Birthday". The cast member will write your name on it and other cast members will wish you a happy birthday throughout the day. There are, apparently, also buttons available if it's your first visit, if you were just married or are celebrating an anniversary, or if you're having a family reunion. And if none of those cover your situation, there's a generic "I'm Celebrating!" button. Naturally, we each got a celebration button.

If you're wearing a celebration button, cast members and other guests will ask you what you're celebrating so that they can congratulate you. Because of our buttons (to which I added "NOH8" and "DOMA's Dead!") we got to share the news with quite a few people and had a number of discussions with people about the topic. We spoke with one cast member who was opposed to marriage equality because he thought it contrary to his religious beliefs but by the time we were done talking, was more open to the idea.

And then there was the gentleman in line for the Star Tours ride who asked me about it, commenting that it didn't seem like it would be an issue for me -- I found it amusing that because I wasn't the stereotypical gay man, he assumed I wasn't, even as because he did fit the stereotype, I assumed he was. I explained my reasons for caring about the issue and why it was important, as a parent, to fight for civil rights and he thanked me for being a good parent. Now, I won't lay claim to being a good parent -- I'll admit to adequate -- but I do manage to take care of the basics: my kids have clothes, they have food to eat, they have a roof over their head, and I try to make sure they are decent human beings. A big part of being a decent person is that you care about the welfare and rights of others as well as yourself. So, yeah, we all care about marriage equality and civil rights.

All in all, we had a great time at Disneyland and it was great to be able to quip that "Prop 8 and DOMA have been overturned; what are you going to do now? I'm going to Disneyland!" even if we kinda actually did it in the wrong order.

This post is part of Blogging for LGBTQ Families Day 2014.

Journal Description

My life is, to me, ripe with frequent challenges, occasional successes, spontaneous laughter, adequate tears, and enough *life* to last me a lifetime. To you, however, it surely seems most pedestrian. And therefore, I recycle the name I used previously and call this my Notebooks of Daily Life. Daily, because it's everyday in nature, ordinary. These conglomeration of events that are my life are of interest to me because I live it, perhaps mildly so to those who are touched by it, and could only be of perverse, morbid curiosity to anyone else. Yet, I offer them here nonetheless. Make of them what you will, and perhaps you can learn from my mistakes.