Does anyone else notice the attention you get as a gay couple with children?

Discussion in 'Gay and Lesbian at Disney' started by BingoJoe, Jun 20, 2018.

  1. BingoJoe

    BingoJoe Earning My Ears

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    We are two gay guys with a daughter (6). We have been to Disney the last two years and are going again for two weeks at the end of August. We come over from the UK and needless to say we love it.

    Here in England we walk around openly as a family and noone says anything. If anyone notices you don't notice them noticing, if you see what I mean. Sometimes a waiter or shop assistant will not guess that we are a family, but when it becomes obvious they don't miss a beat.

    It may be an American vs UK thing but at Disney I notice people noticing. That would be fine but also we get approached about it, something that has never happened in the UK. People have even come up to us at meals to speak about it.

    Noone has ever said anything bad, when we have been approached it has been to say something like, "You are doing a great job and your daughter is so well behaved", or to complement her clothes etc.

    I know it sounds grinchy but I don't know what to say back, I tend to say thanks but sometimes people linger and seem to want more! It is always nice to have a compliment but I don't really care what they think of our parenting and would rather just be left alone to eat dinner :D

    I think this is somewhere where the American/English cultural divide comes into play, where different things are socially acceptable. English people mind their own business (or pretend to) more than Americans in my experience.

    So I suppose what I am asking is, do you get this as well? Is it a US thing or just a Disney thing? What do you say when it happens?
     
  2. BingoJoe

    BingoJoe Earning My Ears

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    Actually come to think of it, once someone did whip their kids out of the pool to stop them playing with my daughter in the AKL pool when they realised. But I had almost forgotten that!

    That is actually the only time (to my knowledge) that something like that has ever happened to us/her anywhere, but it wasn't a big deal and we hardly noticed. Was random chance it was at Disney I expect.
     
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  4. wnwardii

    wnwardii Mouseketeer

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    While I don't have a partner or any kids, I have noticed differences between WDW and Disneyland, which may somewhat apply here. In Disneyland, it is more common to see same sex couples (with or without kids) walking around and showing affection. I think the culture in Southern California or California in general is a bit more accepting to same sex couples. I am not saying that same sex couples are not accepted at WDW, but I think the culture at WDW is just very different.
     
  5. Smittolis

    Smittolis DIS Veteran

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    It is definitely not an 'America Vs Europe / UK' thing, it's simply based upon the demographics of where the parks are based. WDW is located in the heart of a traditionally more 'conservative' area, and I say this with the full working knowledge this doesn't apply to everyone! My wife's family are all from Daytona Beach, so the struggle is real! lol.... Being somewhat conservative and potentially older in generation, there is a strong biblical / religious overtone to views / perspectives. This isn't indicative of the US in general, but more so of the area the park is in. West Coast is where it's at, we don't bat an eyelid for nothing over here! ;o)

    Sad that you would experience it never the less regardless of where it is.
     
  6. BingoJoe

    BingoJoe Earning My Ears

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    You guys think the people come over to make odd, but supportive, comments because they are from a more conservative area and so we aren't a common sight they may assume we need them? I can see that I think.

    The intentions are obviously very nice, but I think there is an element of US vs UK there because in the UK people tend not to try to sponteneously emotionally support strangers (unless they are in obvious distress):D

    Maybe it is part of the Disney Magic? I genuinely do think WDW makes people happy and more outgoing.
     
  7. wnwardii

    wnwardii Mouseketeer

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    I think the people coming over are trying to be supportive, but it isn't necessarily that they are conservative or liberal. I would probably assert that they are probably more progressive if they are actually going out of their way to be supportive. If they were more conservative, you would probably see more situations like the pool incident you described. Or you may hear muttering/slandering under their breath if they are that put out by you being with your family.

    It is good to hear that you have had more positive encounters than negative encounters. Maybe these people feel like they need to compensate for the jerks and haters out there.
     
  8. slpeters

    slpeters DIS Veteran

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    I would say that it's an American/UK thing. Whenever I'm in Europe I'm struck by the complete lack of small talk and what you're describing is sort of the extreme version of small talk. I think there's something about Disney World that sort of ramps it up, although I'd be surprised if you didn't find it odd elsewhere in the States as well. We don't have kids but in the Fall we were there with 20th Anniversary pins and were very much surprised how much other guests talked about it--we kind of thought we'd get a free slice of cake somewhere along the way and some congratulations from cast members but other guests were all over it. I mean it was cool, someone sent us champagne, a couple we didn't even meet picked up our tab at Nomad, but I was truly taken aback at how many straight couples standing in line actually wanted to talk about how cool our marriage was. Definitely not bad, but odd nonetheless.... and I'm from here.
     
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  9. slpeters

    slpeters DIS Veteran

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    I would say that it's an American/UK thing. Whenever I'm in Europe I'm struck by the complete lack of small talk and what you're describing is sort of the extreme version of small talk. I think there's something about Disney World that sort of ramps it up, although I'd be surprised if you didn't find it odd elsewhere in the States as well. We don't have kids but in the Fall we were there with 20th Anniversary pins and were very much surprised how much other guests talked about it--we kind of thought we'd get a free slice of cake somewhere along the way and some congratulations from cast members but other guests were all over it. I mean it was cool, someone sent us champagne, a couple we didn't even meet picked up our tab at Nomad, but I was truly taken aback at how many straight couples standing in line actually wanted to talk about how cool our marriage was. Definitely not bad, but odd nonetheless.... and I'm from here.
     
  10. DisArmyWife215

    DisArmyWife215 Mouseketeer

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    Although not the same, I have had similar issues with my daughter who is biracial. People would compliment her looks often or her behavior in positive ways. To me it always felt like a backhanded compliment, like they were shocked she was a cute kid or had proper behavior. I know most people wouldn't look at it that way but to me it felt like they were commenting because it wasn't their expectation, and although I know they meant well, I too was at a loss of what to say and would say thanks. Now that she's older I have asked people why they think it's appropriate to comment when it's obvious your basing your thoughts off her skin tone. I think American's for sure are more in each others business and that's why I have no problem now calling people on it. If you wouldn't say the say thing to any other child, don't say it to mine (or yours). I don't need your validation on my parenting skills.
     
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  11. KelNChrisKYDis

    KelNChrisKYDis I'm aware we just got back.

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    I guess this is one of those times when it's nice to hear perspectives from others. My grandma always told me if you have a compliment for someone, it means nothing if you don't share it. So I have always been very liberal with sharing what, until now, I thought were positive thoughts and feelings with others. For example, when my DH and I go out to eat and there's a very well behaved child that catches our eye during our meal, one of us will often make mention to the parents that we appreciated their smiles and demeanor, although hopefully not in a condescending or patronizing tone. I always appreciate it when others comment that my kids were either well behaved or exceptionally kind, etc. I don't need validation either, but it sure feels nice, especially in this day and age when people judge parents for every single little thing. My kids also appreciate it when I tell them a stranger noticed how well they shared, or that they were very patient, etc.

    As for getting more attention, I'm sorry you've had negative/uncomfortable experiences. From my perspective, if I am going out of my way to compliment someone's children, it's because I like being supportive and I like acknowledging positive things. My daughter was born with feeding issues and was on a feeding tube for several months after being born; I encountered some truly rude people who would ask me why I had a "sick baby" out and about, and when I would bottle feed her, I had a few people tell me if I had breastfed, she wouldn't be "sick", etc. But for each of those, I had twice as many truly wonderful and supportive strangers share encouraging words and smiles with me. That meant a lot to me. It truly never dawned on me that that would make people uncomfortable or be upsetting.
     
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  12. BingoJoe

    BingoJoe Earning My Ears

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    I should make it clear that it never upset us, not at all. It is just something that has never happened to us anywhere else and I was curious about it.

    It's nice to know that other people have had similar experiences, both realted to their sexuality and their children. It makes me happy to know I am not just imagaining something!

    I think if my daughter is being particuarly exceptional the complement wouldn't strike me as odd, but the first time it happened she was being a right grumpy little sh*t which added to the oddness of it all!

    I love being gay, but in my normal day to day life I think I kind of forget that I am. It is funny to be reminded that it matters to other people I think.

    I could never bring myself to be anything other than as kind as possible to someone who has good intentions, so I will just keep saying thanks when it happens and trying to move on as quickly as possible. Maybe one day, when the political climate settles down a little bit and the personal is not so related to the political in the USA, things will sort of even out and we can be blissfully ignored :D

    What do they say? "The USA and UK and two countries seperated by a common language". I suppose all this is just part of visiting a foreign country! Which is great!
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2018
  13. DisArmyWife215

    DisArmyWife215 Mouseketeer

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    You're grandma was a smart woman, and you're right too that it's nice to hear. And it's normally very positive but you can get that vibe sometimes that it's not the action or person themselves the are complimenting, it's the compliment of a "such and such" person that makes it offensive. Kinda like when someone says your pretty for a big girl or older person and not just your pretty. Know what I mean?
     
  14. tarak

    tarak DIS Veteran

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    I think you’ve hit on it. We live in a super conservative area, so I can see someone wanting to make it clear not everyone leans to the right. I was at WDW last week and wore a “love is love” shirt one day. Several people complemented the shirt and one couple thanked me for wearing it. I wanted to cry because I shouldn't be thanked for expressing a belief that should be commonplace. Unfortunately, it’s not here in the states. And definitely not here in “Pennsyltucky,” that vast space between Philly and Pittsburgh.
     

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