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Disney heir comes out as transgender, speaks out against ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill

Charlee Corra speaks onstage as Human Rights Campaign hosts the 2022 Los Angeles Dinner at JW Marriott on March 12, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. Getty

Charlee Corra Disney, one of the heirs of The Walt Disney Co., came out publicly as transgender and has condemned anti-LGBTQ2 legislation in the United States.

In a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times, Corra (who uses they/them pronouns) said their speech at the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) annual gala in March was a public coming out for them.

Before the gala, Corra, 30, had been out as transgender personally for four years. Initially, Corra identified as gay before coming out as trans.

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“I had very few openly gay role models,” Corra told the Los Angeles Times. “And I certainly didn’t have any trans or nonbinary role models. I didn’t see myself reflected in anyone, and that made me feel like there was something wrong with me.”

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At the HRC event, Corra announced their family would match up to US$250,000 in donations to the HRC, the largest LGBTQ2 advocacy group and LGBTQ2 political lobbying organization in the United States.

This amount was later doubled to $500,000 by Roy P. Disney, Corra’s father and the grandson of the company’s co-founder.

The donation from the Disney family came after the HRC declined a $5-million donation from The Walt Disney Co., in early March. The HRC declined the donation because of the company’s initial silence and inaction on the Florida “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which has now been made law and bars instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity in kindergarten through Grade 3.

Disney CEO Bob Chapek has since apologized for the company’s silence.

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Still, as the Disney company faced public scrutiny and employee protests in regards to its initial silence on the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, the Disney family is speaking out in support of LGBTQ2 rights.

“Equality matters deeply to us,” wrote Roy P. Disney in a statement, “especially because our child, Charlee, is transgender and a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community.”

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For this reason, the Sheri Disney — Corra’s mother — told the Los Angeles Times she was disappointed by The Walt Disney Co.’s actions, “but had no doubt the company would make it right.” She hopes the $500,000 donation will be a “bridge” to show the family’s commitment to gay and trans rights.

“I feel like I don’t do very much to help,” Corra said. Corra does not work for Disney, but is a high school biology and environmental science teacher.

“I don’t call senators or take action. I felt like I could be doing more.”

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