As soon as the plane touched ground in Orlando, four best friends, all reflected one great, sun-glassed big smile: Gay Days at Disneyland!
June 4 marked the 21st year that The Magic Kingdom declared Gay Day. The week and days prior have extended into Gay Days Orlando, with non-stop events, parties, and special park attractions and conventions. We stayed at Double Tree Hilton at SeaWorld, which played host to this year’s festivities, which bring $150 million to Orlando each year. One thousand rooms sold out made our hotel the place to play.
Now that I’ve popped my Gay Days cherry all over Orlando, leaving a trail of one thousand broken hearts and potential Facebook stalking (grin), I’m exhausted and sunburned, with a steady thumping of techno bass in both ears. My flip-flopped feet will still be stained with a milky-white strap line come fall.
My head has been tossed off kilter from roller coasters, water slides, wave pools and flumes, not to mention the constant hawking of guys galoreeverywhere, at every turn, in every possible direction that one can swivel and crane one’s neck. My wrist has been taped with neon color bracelets, party passes and VIP bands, turning my once masculine, hairy joint into a smooth pink-hued shackle!
One too many manmade waves at Typhoon Lagoon sent this strong swimmer tumbling ashore and up to the bar, waterlogged with cocktails and chlorine, only to dry out two days later with three helpings of Universal Studios’ Revenge of the Mummy roller coaster! Even my face is now creased with noticeable smile lines from the constant flash of cameras and candid digital shots by friends and engaging admirers.
The morning wake-up call, from three DJs, stationed at three gigantic pools, shot us out of bed and into swimsuits and sunscreen, until my voice was scratched from mingling and my gams ached from playing Esther Williams water nymph. I saved all my best out-of-water stylings for the endless treks around the party-happy hotel, clad in yet another quick-change, wet to dry ensemble.
I couldn't jam another freebie into my overstuffed suitcase: gift bags from sponsors, hats, condoms, magazines, necklaces, bandanas, buttons and badges, more condoms, pens, lube packets, tee-shirts and water bottles, oh, and that great big box of four complementary Fleet Brand Enemas, with Aloe, was a real winner at airport bag security!
I tried to hide under a Goofy hat, you know, with the long ears, which, in a moment of Jubal haze, I was manhandled into buying (grin), but still couldn't conceal a blush stain on my cheeks from the wonders Magic Kingdom, which unfold at your every step.
Maybe it was that cloud of red, which blanketed the park with thousands of GLBT persons, united in community and tee-shirt color, that finally put the free, in spirit, which I always considered myself to be!