30-year-old science teacher Charlee Disney came out four years ago. But this is the first time their family has addressed their gender identity in public. The Disney heir expressed that they should have done more to speak out against Florida’s Don’t Say Gay bill.
Roy P. Disney, co-founder of Walt Disney Co and great-nephew of Walt Disney, is the father of Charlee. He pledged $500,000 dollar along with his family to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).
Mr. Disney said: “Equality matters deeply to us especially because our child, Charlee, is transgender and a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community.”
The Don’t Say Gay bill discourages sexual orientation and gender issues conversations in classrooms. It was signed into law last month by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
The law has been criticized since it marginalizes LGBT people. This has led to many protests against it nationwide.
Walt Disney’s chief executive Bob Chapek’s initial refusal to publicly condemn the Don’t Say Gay law has sparked backlash which led to organized walkouts by staff. The chief executive later apologized for not taking a stronger stand and said that the company would pause political donations to the state.
Charlee said in an interview:
“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.”
“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.”