Disney family member Charlee Corra came out as transgender publicly and condemned anti-LGBTQ bills in a recent interview.
Corra, who uses the pronouns “he” and “them,” announced her family would match up to $250,000 in donations to the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBTQ advocacy group, during the organization’s annual gala in Los Angeles. last month.
Roy P. Disney, Corra’s stepfather and grandson of Roy O. Disney, co-founder of The Walt Disney Company, increased that amount to $500,000 last week.
“Equality is very important to us,” Disney said in a statement. according to Los Angeles Times“especially since our daughter, Charlee, is transgender and a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community.”
Disney also said the family was “heartbroken” when Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the Parents’ Rights in Education Actthat critics have dubbed the bill “Don’t Say Gay or Trans” because prohibits classroom teaching of sexual orientation or gender identity with students in grades K-3 or in a manner deemed developmentally or age inappropriate.
Corra, a high school biology and environmental sciences teacher, told the LA Times that the HRC gala was something of a public revelation for them, having come out as trans in private four years ago.
Corra, who has been widely referred to as Charlee Disney in news reports, said that even though they have a lot of support and privilege, their journey has been a difficult one.
“I had very few openly gay role models,” said Corra, 30. “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 that something was wrong with me.
Corra, who told the Times they don’t have a lot of experience in public speaking or advocacy, lamented that “they don’t do much to help.”
“I don’t call senators or take action,” they said. “I felt like I could be doing more.”
They condemned anti-LGBTQ bills, noting that LGBTQ children already deal with higher rates of depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and bullying.
“So put something like this law on top of that? Can’t they learn about their community and its history at school, play sports, or use the bathroom they want to use? they told the LA Times.
The Walt Disney Co. was attacked after The Orlando Sentinel reported in February that the company had donated to all sponsors and co-sponsors of the Parents’ Rights in Education bill. Disney CEO Bob Chapek said in a staff email last month that he and the company’s leadership “unequivocally support” LGBTQ employeesbut did not condemn the bill, arguing that corporate statements “do very little to change outcomes or minds,” CNN reported.
On March 11, following internal criticism from employees, Chapek announced that the company would stop all political donations in Florida. and apologized for his first statement in a letter posted on the Disney website.
“It is clear that this is not just a Florida bill issue, but another challenge to basic human rights,” he wrote. “You needed me to be a stronger ally in the fight for equal rights and I let you down. I am sorry.”
Roy P. Disney said his family wanted to make a donation in part because the Human Rights Campaign refused to accept a $5 million donation Chapek announced last month. Joni Madison, the group’s interim president, said HRC wants Disney to “build on its public engagement and work with LGBTQ+ advocates to ensure that dangerous proposals like Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay or Trans’ bill, don’t become dangerous laws, and if they do, work to get them off the books.”
Sheri Disney, Charlee’s mother, said the matching donation was meant to remind people that LGBTQ children need support.
“I have a trans son and I love my son no matter what,” he told the LA Times.
CORRECTION (April 11, 2022, 2:15 pm ET) An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the last name of a Disney family member. Her name is Charlee Corra, not Charlee Disney.