We hold a Disney night once a month at my event Broadway Mondays at Hardware Bar. Some think this is because Judy Darling, Sutton Lee Seymour and I love Disney. This is not an untrue statement. But that’s not the only reason. We also have a once-monthly Disney party because it is our most popular theme yet. The record-breaking crowds shove their way through the doors to belt along with “Part of Your World,” “Let It Go” and “That’s How You Know,” among the many other hits VJ OhRicky spins throughout the night.
By the time you read this article I will most likely either be flying South, or already running around the Disney parks, skipping and laughing and crying like I’m still nine years old. I will be doing this despite the fact that I already spent my birthday in Disneyland only a week and a half ago. I openly admit that Peter Pan is my spirit animal, because I refuse to grow up. (Full disclosure: I also consider Joy from “Inside Out,” Baymax from “Big Hero Six,” Aladdin and Giselle from “Enchanted” to also be my spirit animals. It’s a bit of a zoo in here.)
What can I say? I am a proud Disney fan, always have been, and always will be. Thing is, you’re most likely one, too. And if you aren’t, then everyone else around you is and you should probably keep your strange distaste for the awesomest thing ever under wraps, lest we all judge you within an inch of your life.
What is it about Disney, exactly? Why do we love the princesses, princes, sidekicks and villains so? To be honest, I can’t even tell you why I love it so damn much. I just do, dammit! Perhaps you or your friends have a better, more informed reason as to why this is the case.
All I know is that, while I can barely muster up a tear for a real-life situation, I will descend into a snotty, sniveling mess during an emotional animated Disney film moment. I clocked in at least three good cries during “Big Hero 6.” Around that many for “Frozen,” too. Disney just has that way of tugging at your heartstrings.
And when I’m in the theme parks? Forget about it. I whimper during the daily parades. “Finding Nemo – The Musical” at Animal Kingdom requires that I bring a packet of tissues. I can even get myself worked up walking through the parks at night when every building is aglow and the air is cool and the magical music pipes out of the hidden speakers.
Disney is the thing of fantasies. As a romantic who’s always on the lookout for my Prince/Princess Charming, I can look to Disney films and believe in what the world would otherwise lead me to think of as impossible. When I wish upon a star, and if I wear my heart on my sleeve and believe, then anything is possible. I watch on as characters that I can sympathize with face down greater odds and horrors than I ever have. And if they can survive and get their happy ending, then, dammit, so can I! (Dammit!)
Furthermore, Disney factors very strongly into my dating career. The more into Disney you are, the more into you I will be. To this day I have a very simple fantasy of wearing cute matching shirts with my imaginary boyfriend as we kiss in front of Cinderella’s castle (and then post the photo to our Facebook walls where the likes and comments come rolling in). I want to take a Disney cruise with my future boyfriend. I want to see every Disney musical with him. I want us to debate the finer points of why Belle is better than Ariel, or vice-versa. I want to argue over which female and male villain truly is the worst. I want us to take our adopted kids to the Magic Kingdom before they turn five.
Is that so much to ask? No, I don’t think it is.
No matter the reason, the fact remains as plain as the ears on Mickey’s head: A majority of gay guys love Disney, and I am one of them. Believing in Disney, the messages it communicates and stories it tells turns our heads and hearts into The Happiest Places on Earth. It keeps the innocence of our childhood alive. It makes us dream of things better than where we currently are. And we should all spend our lives dreaming, believing and striving for our happy ending.
XO Justin Luke
Justin Luke is one of New York’s premiere gay party producers and promoters and the co-owner of the nightlife company BoiParty. He is also a six-time published author and entrepreneur.
Visit JustinLukeNYC.com for more info.