Charlee Corra Disney, an heir to the Disney fortune, has come out as transgender and is speaking against Florida’s H.B. 1557, better known as the Don’t Say Gay law.
Their newfound public activism comes as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) picked a fight with the corporation over its opposition to the law.
Charlee is a high school biology and environmental science teacher, and they’re also the 30-year-old great-grandchild of Walt Disney. Their parents, Roy and Sheri Disney, just announced that they’re donating $500,000 to HRC.
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And now they’re putting themself at the frontlines of fight against the Don’t Say Gay law.
“I feel like I don’t do very much to help,” they told Robin Abcarian at the LA Times. “I don’t call senators or take action. I felt like I could be doing more.”
Their mother Sheri said that, when they were around two or three-years-old, they didn’t want to go to the girls’ shoe section at a store and said, “But mom, I’m a boy on the inside.”
They identified as gay for years before coming out as trans in their mid-20s.
“I had very few openly gay role models,” Charlee 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 there was something wrong with me.”
The Don’t Say Gay law bans discussions of LGBTQ issues in elementary school and requires them to be “developmentally appropriate” in older grades, but the law doesn’t define what that means. Instead of setting clear standards, the law allows parents to sue school districts if they feel like the law has been violated, which critics say will stifle any discussion of LGBTQ people and lead to LGBTQ youth feeling isolated and alone.
Charlee brought up the high rates of depression, anxiety, bullying, and suicide that LGBTQ youth faces.
“Then to put something like this law on top of that?” they said. “They can’t learn about their community and their history at school, or play sports or use the bathroom they want to use?”