Disney brings ‘Pride’ to Seattle Men’s Chorus

Jun 9, 2023, 2:46 PM | Updated: 3:19 pm

Disney World...

People visit the Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey)

(AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey)

Disney is out and proud of its support of the LGBTQ+ community. The company even criticized the state of Florida — the home of Disney World — for its so-called “don’t say gay” bill.

This year, Disney has teamed up with choirs for a Pride concert and Seattle’s Paramount Theater is one of the venues where you’ll see it performed.

Disney music swelled to the rafters of a church, earlier this week, where the Seattle Men’s Chorus is practicing for their Pride performance.

“I don’t think there’s a person in my general vicinity that didn’t grow up singing and loving at least one, two, three, or ALL the Disney movies,” chorus member Luke Preston-Toogood told KIRO Newsradio’s Heather Bosch.

The program features music from Disney movies and theme parks, as well as a sing-a-long.

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Much of the program is downright delightful, but, “This isn’t just about being happy and joyful and Disney fun. It is about taking you through the myriad of emotions you can go through in one show, and it’s kind of breathtaking,” Preston-Toodgood said.

“Disney has been part of all of our lives,” said Craig Coogan, the Seattle Men’s Chorus Executive Director. “Their characters always have a struggle. They always have something that they’re trying to aspire to. Isn’t that was all of us are trying to do? But especially people who identify in the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender community.”

One chorus member who has struggled is Steve Marose, who served as an officer in the U.S. Air Force in the 1980s, long before the Military allowed openly LGBTQ+ individuals to serve:

“They (the military) court-martialed me and put me in prison for two years.”

Two years behind bars at Fort Leavenworth for being himself.

“I used it as my springboard into being an out, proud, gay man. I left Fort Leavenworth knowing I would never ever deny who I was again.”

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Marose is one of several chorus members who will be sharing their stories as part of the Pride performance.

And while in his message he warns that some states are trying to roll back LGBTQ+ rights, “the part that heartens me is knowing that all the polls say 70% to 80% of Americans support gay marriage.”

He believes the vast majority of Americans think the movement to ban drag shows is silly and he predicts there will be a backlash to the anti-transgender movement.

“People have accepted us as family members as friends, as members of their community, because we are. And now that we’ve revealed ourselves there’s no going back. And why would we?”

The Seattle Men’s Chorus’ Disney Pride Concert is at the Seattle Paramount Theater on June 9 and 10.

Heather Bosch is an award-winning reporter for KIRO Newsradio.

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Disney brings ‘Pride’ to Seattle Men’s Chorus