Disney heiress Charlee Disney publicly comes out as transgender and condemns anti-LGBTQ bills


Charlee Disney, one of The Walt Disney Co. heiresses, has come out publicly as transgender and condemned anti-LGBTQ bills in a recent interview.

Disney, which uses gender-neutral pronouns, announced its family would match up to $250,000 in donations to the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBTQ advocacy group, at the organization’s annual gala in Los Angeles. Angeles last month.

Roy P. Disney, Disney’s father and grandson of the company’s co-founder, increased that amount to $500,000 last week.

“Equality matters deeply to us,” Roy P. Disney said in a statement, according to the Los Angeles Times, “especially because our child, Charlee, is transgender and proud to be a member of the LGBTQ+ community.”

The Disney alum also said the family was “heartbroken” when Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed the Parental Rights in Education Act, which critics dubbed the ‘Don’t Tell’ Bill. not gay or trans”, as it prohibits any classroom discussion of sexual orientation or gender. identity with K-3 students as developmentally or age inappropriate.

Charlee Disney, 30, a high school biology and environmental science teacher, told the LA Times that the HRC gala was kind of a public outing for them, since they privately dated as trans he four years ago.

Disney said that although they had a lot of support and privilege, their journey had been difficult.

“I had very few openly gay role models,” Disney said. “And I certainly didn’t have any trans or non-binary role models. I didn’t see myself reflected in anyone, and that made me feel like something was wrong with me.

Disney, who told The Times they don’t have much experience in public speaking or advocacy, lamented that they “don’t do much to help.”

“I don’t call senators and I don’t act,” they said. “I felt like I could do more.”

They condemned anti-LGBTQ bills and noted that LGBTQ children already face higher rates of depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and bullying.

“So put something like this law on top of that?” They can’t learn about their community and history at school, or play sports, or use the bathroom they want to use? they told the LA Times.

The Walt Disney Co. came under fire after The Orlando Sentinel reported in February that the company had donated to every sponsor and co-sponsor of the Parental Rights in Education Bill. Disney CEO Bob Chapek said in a staff email last month that he and company management “stand unequivocally” with LGBTQ employees, but he did not condemn the bill. , arguing that the company’s statements “do very little to change the results or minds,” CNN reported.

On March 11, after criticism from internal employees, Chapek announced that the company would suspend all political donations in Florida and apologized for his first statement in a letter posted on Disney’s website.

“It is clear that this is not just a Florida bill issue, but rather another basic human rights challenge,” he wrote. “You needed me to be a stronger ally in the fight for equal rights and I let you down. I’m sorry.”

Roy P. Disney said his family wanted to donate in part because the Human Rights Campaign refused to accept a $5 million donation announced by Chapek last month. Joni Madison, the group’s acting president, said the HRC wants to see Disney “build on its public commitment and work with LGBTQ+ advocates to ensure that dangerous propositions, like ‘Don’t Say Gay or Trans’ from Florida. bill, don’t become dangerous laws, and if they do, work to get them off the books.

Sheri Disney, Charlee’s mother, said the matching donation was meant to remind people that LGBTQ kids need support.

“I have a trans kid and I love my kid no matter what,” she told the LA Times.

This article was originally published on NBCNews.com.


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