Disney launched a new LGBTQ “pride collection” clothing line for children on Monday, including several rainbow-colored t-shirts.
“The Disney Pride Collection was created by LGBTQIA+ employees and allies at The Walt Disney Company and is a reflection of their incredible contributions and place at the heart of the company,” Disney said in a statement. “We stand in solidarity with our LGBTQIA+ community everywhere.”
In the same announcement, Disney promised to donate all of its domestic profits from the pride collection to organizations that support LGBTQ causes until the end of June, also known as “Pride Month.”
Groups designated to benefit from Disney’s sales include the Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network, which says it “exists to create safe and affirming schools and learning environments for all K-12 students,” and The Trevor Project, a suicide prevention resource for LGBTQ young people.
While Disney’s pride collection clothing, for both kids and adults, comes in preparation for Pride Month, the move also comes as the company has been targeted by Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis and other Republicans. The company opposed the state’s Parental Rights in Education bill, legislation prohibiting discussions on sexual orientation and gender identity in classrooms with young children.
In a Fox News interview in late March, DeSantis responded to Disney’s criticism of the bill. “[T]his is a real bill that empowers parents, it protects our kids. And for a company like Disney to say that this bill should have never passed … for them to say that them as a California-based company are going to work to take those California values and overturn a law that was duly enacted and, as you said, supported by a strong majority of Floridians, they don’t run this state. They will never run this state as long as I’m governor.”
In late April, DeSantis signed another bill stripping Disney of its special privileges that allowed the company to govern its land. “I’m just not comfortable having that type of agenda get special treatment in my state,” DeSantis said when discussing the bill, The Daily Wire reported.
During a Disney all-hands meeting in March, a Disney executive producer told employees that the company welcomed her “not-at-all secret gay agenda.”
“They’re turning it around,” Latoya Raveaneau said in reference to Disney’s leadership. “[A]nd then all that momentum that I felt, that sense of ‘I don’t have to be afraid, let’s have these two characters kiss in the background…wherever I could, I was basically adding queerness to the show, if you see anything queer in the show, ‘The Proud Family,’ nobody would stop me and nobody was trying to stop me.”