Would You Miss Ryan on Day Without A Gay?

10 Dec

Today is the first ever “Day Without A Gay!” Queer folks and our allies have been encouraged to “call in gay” to work, and instead spend the day volunteering at their local gay-friendly organization. Maybe it’s a local chapter of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, or maybe it’s a homeless shelter….any local organization qualifies, as long as they welcome volunteers who might happen to be gay. Day Without A Gay will “fight the H8 with love.”

We’ve reacted to anti-gay ballot initiatives in California, Arizona Florida, and Arkansas with anger, with resolve, and with courage. NOW, it’s time to show America and the world how we love.

Gay people and our allies are compassionate, sensitive, caring, mobilized, and programmed for success. A day without gays would be tragic because it would be a day without love.

If you’re not actually gay but want to support the event, the organizers have given everybody a free “Gay for a Day” pass. You can participate even if you can’t miss work today.

And, well, I’d take a gay day, but I’d already taken a vacation day today….I’m heading to Walt Disney World for MouseFest! So instead, I’ll just take a moment to reflect on what the Disney company might well look like without gay people. Actually, no, I don’t even want to think about it! I’ve already written for Jentasmic! about how sometimes Disney is just so gay.

Instead, let’s just try to imagine the High School Musical series without Ryan Evans. Puh-leeze! And it’s not just that Sharpay wouldn’t have a convenient foil for the best line in HSM3 (“he’s doing some kind of crazy Fosse yoga thing!”), or that we wouldn’t get to watch his character evolve over the franchise from mindless Sharpay minion to Julliard scholarship winner. It’s also the fact that the series just wouldn’t be as much fun without him, without the drama queer that so many of us knew in high school, that many of us were. Where would we be without his brave fashion sense, his willingness to challenge Chad to a baseball/dancing duel, his sarcastic cynical edge at the start of HSM3’s  “I Want It All?”

But a recent conversation with my husband brought me back to the real point of Day Without A Gay….gay people aren’t just styling our hair, choreographing our Broadway shows, and decorating our interiors (ahem), as important as all those tasks may be. They are also delivering our FedEx packages, removing our appendixes, teaching our science classes, writing our Web 2.0 databases, working in our factories, flying our airplanes. Animating our favorite films. Delivering our Dream Fast Passes. Serving our Scopa Special at Le Cellier. Driving the Magical Express (oh, that last one sounded kinda off-color, didn’t it?).

My life is richer because I was one of those queer drama geeks, and because I have plenty of them in my life today. If you’re a Disney fan, I’ll bet your life is richer because some of those queer drama geeks have produced, performed, and supported movies and park attractions you enjoy. So even if you have to go to work today, feel free to use that free “Gay for a Day” pass anyway…we’re all in this together.

One Response to “Would You Miss Ryan on Day Without A Gay?”

  1. Ken in Atlanta December 15, 2008 at 3:09 pm #

    Ryan Evan (Lucas) was in the movie “Milk” as one of Harvey Milk’s friends and photographer. He was only in it for a brief but but wow did his flame shine bright.

    The movie was great, I recogmend it to all.

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