Thursday, 31 August 2017

The Final Word On The Disneyland Drama!

So the past 48 hours have been a little crazy.

After receiving an email from Disneyland Paris to inform me that my son couldn't take part in one of their children's activities because "he is a boy", I did what I often do when the world gets me down and blogged it all out on here.

I then shared the post to Facebook where I knew that many of my friends and followers would reassure me that outdated gender stereotypes are indeed NOT the norm anymore...which they did.

I did not expect less than 24 hours later to be standing in my living room recording multiple live interviews with ITV news. Nor recording phone interviews for various radio stations, or fielding ENDLESS emails (which are STILL coming in) from newspaper companies all over the world telling me (Not asking) that they are running the story.

Any long term readers of my blog will know that I have been in weekly therapy sessions for a year now in order to try to resolve the anxiety and panic disorder that I have suffered with since childhood, the same disorder that meant I put off visiting Disneyland Paris at all until last year...because I have always found it very hard to be out in public, to mingle with people, and not to worry what others think of me.

Something I am VERY keen not to pass on to any of my lack of confidence and anxious nature has limited me a lot over the years, and I don't want them to experience that awful feeling. I want them to feel confident in themselves and their choices, and live their lives without fear of judgement.

Some people seem to struggle with this concept...over the last couple of days I have been subject to all sorts of messages from cretins in all corners of the globe.

A man private messaged me on Facebook to tell me "God help your kids"...with a profile picture of two young boys, who I sincerely hope for their own sake never have the need to tell their pig ignorant father that they want to wear a dress or marry a man (God help YOUR kids, you idiot.)

MANY trolls crawled out of the woodwork and left comments on the posts saying things such as:

"This mother is crazy...." (I can assure you I'm not, my therapist tells me so every week...How ironic!!)

"She obviously wanted a girl and is forcing this on him...." (I DARE you to try and get a dress on my other son who HATES anything to do with Princesses, you'd soon realise that you can not force a child to do or like ANYTHING...all of my children are incredibly strong willed! And in all honesty? Elsa annoys me and I've had enough Let It Go to last me a life time, if I was forcing something on him it would be Belle!)

"She wants a free holiday" (The holiday has been paid for in full for months now...I made £7,000 last month as a work from home freelance writer and blogger....a business I started and continue to run on my own...I can book a holiday to Disneyland Paris whenever I want thanks...)

And the most common one...

"The mother just wants attention"....I actually wish that one were true, because it would mean I didn't have this awful anxiety disorder...which social anxiety, fear of judgement and criticism play a huge part in. But I let me assure you that attention such as this is one of my biggest fears. It has NOT been enjoyable in the slightest.

But here's the thing...My BIGGEST fear in life is that my children will have to grow up in a world full of inequality and discrimination. And if I am EVER faced with an opportunity to correct that, you can bet your bottom dollar that I will fight against that anxiety with every fibre of my being and STAND UP FOR MY CHILDRENS RIGHTS.

Just as I believe every parent on this planet should.

If my son wants to wear a dress at Disneyland and have a bit of Princess face paint done, he absolutely can...not just because I say so, but because EU legislation backs him up on this...Gender discrimination is NEVER ok and is ILLEGAL.

Thankfully, Disneyland have now contacted us to confirm that the response we received is not reflective of their policies and have promised to update all of their staff on this, AND  they have now changed the wording on their website to remove the line that the Princess experience is to "grant little girls' wishes" to make it more inclusive.

Which further proves the point that their original response to my request was wrong in every way...legally and morally.

Some may ask why I agreed to do the news programmes when this point I had heard no reply from Disney at all, so why would I not want to put pressure on them to correct this awful policy? Why wouldn't I want to publicise everybody's right to equality?

Have you never heard the saying "Be the change you wish to see in the world"...well I wish to see a world where parents support their children and allow them to be who they are without fear of judgement, encourage them to stand against the bullies and naysayers instead of backing down or hiding away from them, and a world where children are given equal opportunities to play with whatever they I stood up for that. And I'm proud that I did.

If it makes even one person change their archaic views on the subject of little boys having the same right to dress up as Princesses as little girls do to dress up as Knights, then it was entirely worth all of the stress and abuse.

To all of the people who were outraged at Disneys original response, thank you for the support and HIGH FIVE...we did it!!! We've actually managed to change something for the better and hopefully no other little boy will be turned away in future.

To all of the keyboard warriors with nothing better to do with their time than pour scorn on an innocent child...thanks so much for all of the blog hits you've given me, but please be aware that the comments you're leaving are a total waste of time...they're all moderated and will never see the light of day. Spread your hate else where or you Noah would say.....Let it go!

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