This weekend at Disneyland (Los Angeles) was Gay Days; an event which is not officially affiliated with the park, where hundreds (or possibly thousands) of gay people turn up and identify themselves by wearing a red t-shirt. As I didn’t have a red t-shirt I liked, I wore an over-sized white jersey with red on it, workout shorts on underneath. Being a big kid I was really excited about the whole experience…
Within a few minutes of being inside the park, a member of staff chased us down, before asking “do you have anything on under that top?” So I told her yes, and showed her the shorts I had on underneath. To which she replied, “OK… Because it gives the impression that you have nothing on underneath. Do you have a change of outfit, because if not, security may remove you from the park.” Really? Why?
She continued, “It’s just that it’s a family park”.
I didn’t want any drama – and certainly didn’t wanna get kicked outta Disney after paying $99 entry – so put on the longer shorts I had in my bag. But the more I thought about it, I began to question. What exactly was the issue? Was it the fact that there was so much leg on show? Because there were countless girls walking around in booty shorts. How is it any different from a girl in those? Or even a dress? Was she asking women if they had anything on under their short skirts too?
Or was it the fact that it looked like a t-shirt with no sign of bottoms? If that was the case, would she have approached a girl wearing just an oversized jersey? Would it have been OK if the jersey had been tucked into the shorts? The fact that she stated it was a “family park” suggests that there was something offensive about the outfit; so are men’s legs different from women’s? I was certainly wearing more than Ariel. And where are the ‘family’ morals in statues of princesses that have waists the same width as their neck (no exaggeration). Was my outfit more damaging than the impression than distorted body images leave on children?
After checking Disney’s dress code it doesn’t mention anything related to what I was wearing or normal days, although under the heading ‘Gay Days’ however, it says no “club wear”. Yes, I’ve seen plenty of girls wearing oversized jerseys as a dress in the club, but I’ve also seen them doing it on road, too. But as it only said this under the ‘Gay Days’ heading, I wonder was it simply an issue of a gender; a boy wearing this is not permitted, but a girl could because it’s more socially acceptable for them to wear a dress.
“You can’t throw out hypatheticals. You’re not a girl, and you’re not transgender. You’re a boy wearing this outfit, so they deem it inappropriate” one of my friends suggested. But why? Does that mean that Disney does not allow cross dressers into the park either?
I fully understand that my outfit was a bit unusual and apparently not conservative enough for Disney – but I’m struggling to see the issue. I wasn’t wearing an offensive slogan, and I had shorts on underneath that weren’t going to expose anything when I sat down. What was the line that had been crossed?