Gay Days Anaheim

by Caleb Rainey
Saturday Sep 28, 2013

If there's one thing that LGBT Southern Californians are known for, it's our ability to throw amazing parties! One of the major events is Gay Days Anaheim set in the Disneyland Resort, taking place Friday, October 4 through Sunday, October 6. It is sure to be one of the most unforgettable LGBT events happening this fall.

Now in its 16th year, Gay Days Anaheim is expected to draw 30,000 people making it the premier theme park event for LGBT Southern Californians. This year promises to be particularly amazing; with an astounding entertainment lineup and fabulous parties all weekend long.

Aside from being at Disneyland, the beloved location representing cherished childhood memories, Gay Days Anaheim has become an important event for building LGBT visibility. According to a press release for the event, Gay Days is "a 'mix-in' with the park's other weekend guests, but LGBT participants are encouraged to wear red shirts in order to identify each other and to show strong numbers. Official t-shirts are available at the official Gay Days at Disneyland website."

This year has been an incredible time for LGBT rights. Events like this that encourage LGBT visibility in "mixed" settings is in part what make those political gains possible. Gay Days Anaheim is not only a fabulous weekend rivaling many Pride events, but it is also a place for education and community.

Indeed, as Gay Days Anaheim Co-Founder Eddie Shapiro stated, "That totally depends on who you ask. To many of us, it's important to have our opportunity to enjoy America's number-one family destination with our families of choice. We get to hold hands on Main Street and not feel like it's a radical statement we're making because on that day, we're in the majority instead of the minority.

"To gay youth, it can be incredibly empowering to see our numbers and be part of something so big. To others, it's an opportunity to be themselves in ways that they don't enjoy back home, in an environment other than a bar." So attending not only means you are going to have a blast, you'll also be a part of furthering the LGBT community's goals!

Having a strong LGBT presence at the park is a big part of that goal, but Gay Days Anaheim has multiple events taking place at nearby hotels and other venues although the entire weekend is "very much about Disneyland, first and foremost," says Shapiro. These events include; "An Intimate Conversation With Tabatha Coffey," held on Friday, October 4 at the Gay Days Welcome Center in the Grand Californian Hotel; "Wonderland," also on Friday, October 4; and the dance party at Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen with DJ Ray Rhodes and hosted by L.A. drag diva Momma - look for a sneak peek of ABC'S Once Upon a Time in Wonderland at the event as well!

Saturday, October 5 begins with the hilarious Miss Coco Peru, followed by the weekend's signature dance party, Kingdom, with music from renowned DJ Kimberly S and special performances by Alex Newell (Unique on the Fox hit "Glee") and Disney Diva Susan Egan all at the House of Blues in Downtown Disney. Followed on Sunday, October 6 by Plunge!, the Gay Days Anaheim pool party at The Anabella Hotel! With all the parties and amazing rides it will be hard to choose which event or activity to fit into your fun-packed weekend!

Gay Days Anaheim also donates a portion of the proceeds generated to several wonderful LGBT organizations. What makes this year special, according to Shapiro: "The Point Foundation and Family Equality Council are new not-for-profit partners, so we are really excited to be welcoming them." Both groups do phenomenal work and it is great to see an event that is all about fun, also help out community organizations.

Shapiro also commented, "We have had many marriage proposals at Gay Days Anaheim; but for the first time, the actual weddings are legal. I wouldn't be surprised to see a few bouquets flying through the air this year." Finally, with the resumption of marriage equality in California, LGBT couples can enjoy the long-standing tradition of proposals and engagements that straight couples have long had. This year's Gay Days at Disneyland promises to be an event to remember so be sure to not miss it!

You might just get a ring along with those Mickey Mouse ears.

To book your flight, make host hotel reservations, event tickets or VIP passes for parties and all other things Gay Days Anaheim-related, go to

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