Public affection

Discussion in 'Gay and Lesbian at Disney' started by Lexx1214, Oct 3, 2018.

  1. Lexx1214

    Lexx1214 Mouseketeer

    Jul 1, 2017
    Hi everyone,

    I’m hoping this is the right place to post this.

    I’m a mom of a gay son and we are planning a family trip with me, my DH, our son and his boyfriend. DS will be 17 at the time and his bf will be 18. While talking about our plans DS raised an issue we never thought of before. They’ve been together for over a year and are super affectionate - hand holding, hugging, kisses - not full on making out in public but definitely couplely. This has never been an issue at home, we live in a suburb in Ottawa, Canada, and DS has never experienced any bad reactions. But he’s nervous about going down to Disney World in a more conservative area of the US. Is it likely that DS and the bf will get bad reactions? Will they face any flak because one is 18 and the other 17? Will them sharing a room be an issue?

    Anything that can help me reduce his nervousness would be great. TIA
  2. wnwardii

    wnwardii Mouseketeer

    Aug 3, 2016
    This is a perfect place to post this!

    For the most part, I think things will be fine. But I totally understand the concerns. If this trip was to Disneyland, I would say there would be little to no worries. I have seen many same sex couples walking around holding hands or hugging/holding on to each other in queues. I haven't seen this as much at Walt Disney World, but that doesn't mean people don't do it or don't feel comfortable.

    The best advice I would have is to have them be themselves and just be aware of things around them. Is it possible they may hear some snide comments? Possibly. I would hope most people are worrying about getting to the next attraction or next place and not focus on others. I know when I am at WDW, I tend to be more focused on that and not necessarily on other people outside of my group. In queues, this may be a little different since you have time to look at people and your surroundings. If someone starts becoming belligerent, then I would go talk to a cast member. But the best thing to do is to not engage with those other individuals.

    As for the room situation, the only issue I could see is that your son is under 18. I do not know how strict Disney is about having a legal guardian or parent in the same room as the under 18 individual. If you have requested adjoining rooms, this may help alleviate some of those potential issues. I am not a travel agent, nor do I know all of Disney's room policies. But this may be something to ask about to just be 100%.

    Two years ago, I had 4 male friends join me for a big birthday celebration. They had split up into two rooms and none of them were couples. When I made the reservation through Disney and spoke with Cast Members on the phone, I never got the feeling that this was an issue. Granted all of them were over the age of 18, so we didn't have to worry about the legal guardian or parent issue. 20 years ago, when I was in a relationship and we went to Disney, there was no issue back then with us sharing a room.

    Hopefully others may be able to chime in and provide other insights.
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  4. Jason_V

    Jason_V Mouseketeer

    Mar 24, 2017
    I've been to the parks multiple times with my now ex. Never ever had a problem. We were heavy in PDA, but appropriately so. We always held hands, hugged or gave little kisses. Again, nothing scandalous. Never had a problem.

    I have worn my PRIDE cutoff shirt to the parks...again, no problem. I have a rainbow bear claw tattoo which is very visible when I have a sleeveless shirt on. No problem.

    My best common sense advice in any park: make it appropriate. It's a family place.
    Summer2018, DizMinMouse, kboo and 3 others like this.
  5. Hannahinwonderland

    Hannahinwonderland DIS Veteran

    Apr 7, 2014
    I've never witnessed a negative interaction for any LGBTQ couples. Of course I am POSITIVE they happen but I have been to disney many times, did a CP, and never personally witnessed anything despite being lgbt myself and having many friends in queer relationships. I'd say I hope you'd be fine!
    DizMinMouse and DISNEYSQUIRRELS like this.
  6. King Dominic

    King Dominic Mouseketeer

    Jun 18, 2017
    Coming from a fairly liberal, straight, married man with kids, who has plenty of gay and straight friends, I don't want to see anyone being obnoxiously affectionate in public, lol. Walking with a hand in their partner's back pocket, heavy kissing, petting, etc. I don't think they will have any more issues than they would anywhere else. And by issues I mean the neanderthals who always have problems with LGBTQ couples. As far as the age and sharing the room question, you are under no obligation to disclose to the staff that they're in a relationship and I wouldn't bring it up. Relax and enjoy your trip!!!
    DizMinMouse likes this.
  7. slpeters

    slpeters DIS Veteran

    Sep 7, 2017
    My husband and I went to WDW for a week last November. We've been together for a long time so we don't hang all over each other, but it is abundantly clear that we are a couple. Additionally, we ended up wearing matching 20 year anniversary pins for most of the week--photographers insisted on us doing kiss poses and an astonishing number of guests seemed to want to discuss our relationship, not a bad comment in the batch. Plus, another couple (straight as far as I could tell) picked up our bar tab at Nomad and someone sent over a bottle of Champagne at the hotel bar. I kind of expected well-wishes and freebies from the CMs I was a bit taken aback at how much good will there was from other guests.
  8. Shanti

    Shanti Momketeer

    Nov 29, 2015
    I'm a native Texan and regular WDW vacationer, and can tell you that no one will be shocked at seeing a gay couple holding hands, hugging, or mildly kissing at WDW.
    DizMinMouse and kboo like this.
  9. amberpi

    amberpi DIS Veteran

    Jul 13, 2012
    Ya'll go and do you. I'm also a WDW vet and never had an issue with PDA, I'm positive it will be the same for your boy. Hooray for love!

    ETA: I have a very funny PDA story I need to share on the Dis sometime.
    DizMinMouse likes this.
  10. MickleSt

    MickleSt Mouseketeer

    Aug 26, 2018
    Looking forward to being ourselves at WDW in Feb 2019. 31 years together, and it sometimes astonishes me how far we've come. I would never have even held hands when I first went with a boyfriend in 1980. But Disney is one of the companies which has been pretty progressive, starting in the 1990s. And there is a general no-hassle policy at WDW. Cast members turn up to cool things down when you least expect it. You won't even notice some of the security there. So happy for a time when parents are understanding and supportive of their LGBT DS, DD, and trans kids. Oh, and I agree pretty much with King Dominic. I don't want to see anybody making out in public; get a room! :)
    Summer2018 and DizMinMouse like this.
  11. Pdollar88

    Pdollar88 DIS Veteran

    Aug 20, 2017
    I was super nervous about this going into WDW with my boyfriend last March. I think I still exercised caution and checked my surroundings, but we definitely held hands, kiss on the cheek, posed for photos as a couple, etc.

    I was put at ease, in each of my trips this year, seeing a number of same sex couples walking around holding hands. I personally never saw anyone bat an eye at that.
    DizMinMouse likes this.
  12. stephk1981

    stephk1981 Mouseketeer

    Oct 11, 2013
    I love family trips, you all are going to have such an amazing time! I think as long as your DS and DS bf keep it PG then it's perfectly fine. We live in a conservative area in GA, I have no problem with my children seeing handholding, arm around each other, and quick pecks on the mouth/ cheek. Anything beyond that ( long kisses, hanging all over each other etc.) In my opinion don't belong in a family place from heterosexual or gay couples. Example: two years ago DS ( then 7) and I were in line at Test track. Two teenagers were sticking tongues down throats every few minutes and groping rearends.....not what I wanted my 7 year old to see. I'm sure your teens are better behaved. If it were me, I may remind my teen that it has to be kept family friendly when you and DH aren't around. Hope the four of you have a magical trip!
  13. Wild4Walt

    Wild4Walt DIS Veteran

    Jul 28, 2008
    There is always so much going on in Disney that it's hard to focus on any one thing for too long ( or at least for me ). Because it's a new location for them, I see how they would be self-conscious, but mild PDA won't even be noticed by most.
    DizMinMouse likes this.
  14. Luxurious_Lumiere

    Luxurious_Lumiere Earning My Ears

    Oct 6, 2017
    First of all, its so wonderful to hear of a family being supportive and bringing their son's boyfriend on the family trip. And I think that is part of what will matter the most to your son. I've never experienced negative reactions with my boyfriend in WDW, but if he knows that you and your husband have his back, that makes all the difference. Crazies who might want to say something mean or give an odd look can exist anywhere, but Disney World truly welcomes everyone and Cast Members are great about making guests feel celebrated. (not to mention that Disney employs a ton of lgbt people). The CMs wont treat your son and his bf differently from any other couple or any other guests.

    Feelings of self consciousness, and editing one's behavior, are a near universal experience for gay people. Especially in terms of how we interact with significant others in public spaces. Truth be told, this is likely not the last time your son will have these feelings. When one is young and gay and begins dating, suddenly you are hyper aware of hand holding or pecks on the cheek or other innocent displays of affection. This nervousness often manifests when you are not in a place that is specifically queer or when traveling to a new place. But what I can say is that he will get over this as he gains the confidence and sense of self that naturally comes as we grow up. It took me learning more about myself/gaining confidence in my twenties, meeting more gay people, traveling more, but I finally stopped worrying and stopped editing myself. Your son will too. And your support will be a huge factor in making him feel safe to do so. He's lucky to have a Mom like you.

    You sound like you have a wonderful family. I hope you all have a magical trip. =)
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
  15. michael730

    michael730 Mike M

    Feb 2, 2018
    Let your son know that he’ll be totally fine! I just returned from a honeymoon with my now husband and as much as a non-pda person as I am I do like to hold hands here and there and little stuff like that. Disney world is one of the only places I feel comfortable doing so and there were many other gay and lesbian couples there as well, many on their honeymoons judging by their pins. Times have changed a lot over the past few years since I was there last with him, there are a lot more gay/lesbian couples there now too. But alas, I’m sure nobody will even bat an eye at holding hands or the occasional kiss etc. Have so much fun!
    Summer2018 and DizMinMouse like this.
  16. kamik86

    kamik86 DIS Veteran

    Apr 28, 2010
    The only potential issue I see has nothing to do with the fact that they are both male. I know a lot of hotels in the US require someone over 21 in every hotel room. Might want to check if Disney requires this.
  17. kboo

    kboo DIS Veteran

    Mar 10, 2014
    We did a family reunion trip in 2016 with my parents, my kids, my sister, her wife and their baby. Clearly my sister, SIL and their baby were a family unit - we got nothing but smiles. have a great time!
    Summer2018 and DizMinMouse like this.
  18. Lexx1214

    Lexx1214 Mouseketeer

    Jul 1, 2017
    HUGE thanks to you all for your supportive comments!!! I showed this thread to my son and after reading all your personal experiences he’s feeling a lot more comfortable.

    @Luxurious_Lumiere you got his feelings exactly right, and thank you so much for that.

    As for the hotel rooms; we are booking two adjoining rooms and who sleeps in what rooms is being kept to ourselves. ☺️
  19. LovesTimone

    LovesTimone Christmas Day 2017

    Apr 29, 2009
    Straight couple here..

    First off Disney is for families and that includes your family... :hug:

    Secondly on the PDA... For me personally, I could care less about the hand holding, hugging or even moderate kissing and this is for all couples straight, gay, or whatever .... What I don't want to see, is full on making out, along with bunch of groping and grinding, again this goes for all couples straight, gay or whatever. For me its about the kiddos... Keep it appropriate for them.

    As far as the hotel... this you will need to check out... If you rooms are adjoining or next to each other I don't think that there will be a issue...

    Have a wonderful time... pixiedust:
  20. Chuck S

    Chuck S DVC Boards Co-Moderator Moderator

    Feb 6, 2000
    I have always been of the opinion that if it is a public display that is appropriate for a straight couple, it is also appropriate for a gay couple. "Get a room" type behavior is never appropriate for anyone, no matter the gender, in a theme park. As far as the 17 year old/18 year old would anyone know? Disney does require that at least one registered guest in each room is 18 years old, other than that, I don't think they care, especially since you are traveling together as a family.
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2018
  21. kylieh

    kylieh DIS Veteran

    Jun 18, 2006
    We looked at this when DD16’s, nearly 17 at trip time, BF19 was looking to come on the trip with us. 18 is the age to check in. Age of consent in Florida (from our checking) is 16 with a maximum of 5 years age difference (so 17 & 18 are ok), and at 18 it doesn’t matter at all.
    Summer2018, DizMinMouse and Chuck S like this.

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