The annual celebration of the LGBTQ+ community, which traditionally includes a visit to Walt Disney World, takes on a new meaning this year after Disney attracted widespread criticism for its response to legislation that banned discussions of gender identity and sexual orientation in schools.
As Gay Days brings over 150,000 people to Orlando and its theme parks, some LGBTQ+ people drawn here remain critical of Disney's initial response to the law but hopeful that the company has redoubled its efforts toward supporting their community.
Disney guests getting an early start on Gay Days on Wednesday said they did not consider changing their plans because of the law. If anything, its response encouraged them to show up in solidarity with Disney's LGBTQ+ employees and other fans.
"More than ever, I think we need to make our presence known, and we need to let the legislators know that we are here," said Eric Green, 52, of St. Louis.