A member of the Disney dynasty has come out publicly as transgender and expressed regret over not doing more about Florida’s recent so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
The “Don’t Say Gay” bill was signed by the Sunshine State’s Gov. Ron DeSantis last month and bars teachers from discussing sexual orientation and gender issues with students below fourth grade. Disney, the company, also recently slammed the law and announced that it stands by members of the LGBTQ community.
Roy P. Disney — the great-nephew of Walt Disney and the co-founder of Walt Disney Co. — disclosed recently in a statement that his child, Charlee, is trans.
Roy revealed the news while also pledging $500,000 to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) alongside his wife, Sheri.
Charlee, 30, is a high school biology and science teacher who uses they/them pronouns and came out to their family four years ago.
“Equality matters deeply to us, especially because our child, Charlee, is transgender and a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community,” Roy wrote in a statement.
Roy’s sister, Abigail Disney, tweeted her praise and adoration for her brother’s gesture. “Today I am busting with pride at what my brother and his wife have done. So proud so proud so proud!!!’ she wrote in response to his pledge.
Charlee got candid in an interview with the Los Angeles Times and discussed their trans identity, as well as discontent with DeSantis’ signing of the 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 noted before talking about a previous lack of visible leaders to follow.
“I had very few openly gay role models. And I certainly didn’t have any trans or nonbinary role models,” they continued. “I didn’t see myself reflected in anyone, and that made me feel like there was something wrong with me.”
But Charlee further questioned the merits of the law because of bullying, anxiety and the high risk of suicide in the LGBTQ community.
“To put something like this law on top of that?” Charlee said. “They can’t learn about their community and their history at school, or play sports or use the bathroom they want to use?”
DeSantis previously suggested that Disney “has alienated a lot of people now,” dumping more criticism on the company.
“And so the political influence they’re used to wielding, I think has dissipated,” DeSantis stated during a news conference earlier this month. “And so the question is, why would you want to have special privileges in the law at all? And I don’t think that we should.”
Abigail spoke to CNN on Sunday and responded to what she called the politician’s “absurd” criticism and about her family’s legacy.89