Amid the ongoing drama over the multi-billion media conglomerate's withering response to the passage of Florida's controversial "Don't Say Gay" bill, a member of the Disney family has actually come out as trans.
After having turned down a proposed $5 million donation to the Human Rights Campaign from the company, Disney co-founder Roy P. Disney and wife Sherri announced that they instead would be stepping up to the plate and matching $500,000 in donations. “Equality matters deeply to us,” Disney wrote, “especially because our child, Charlee, is transgender and a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community.”
A high school biology and environmental science teacher, Charlee Corra came out early in life as gay but it wasn't until recently that he came out as a transgender man. “I had very few openly gay role models,” Charlee told the Los Angeles Times. “And I certainly didn’t have any trans or nonbinary role models. I didn’t see myself reflected in anyone, and that made me feel like there was something wrong with me.”
It was this lack of visible representation that he had growing up that led Charlee to take a vested interest in ensuring that Florida's LGBTQ+ youth don't have to endure the same under the "Don't Say Gay" bill. “I feel like I don’t do very much to help. I don’t call senators or take action. I felt like I could be doing more.” Charlee told the Times after attending the HRC's annual gala. “Then to put something like this law on top of that? They can’t learn about their community and their history at school, or play sports or use the bathroom they want to use?”
And while Disney does seem to be buckling under pressure from celebrity condemnations and employee walkouts, Florida governor Ron DeSantis appeared to imply at a press conference that some of Walt Disney World’s "special privileges" such as having their own force of firefighters and exceptions to zoning laws might be taken away if the organization publicly opposed the bill.
Photo via Getty/ Randy Shropshire
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