Orlando trip

June 1996

I haven't uploaded the full-size versions of these pictures because they take up too much space (1Meg in total). If you want bigger versions of them email me at carlmuller@hotmail.com.

This page is a little bit unbalanced as a lot of text comes at the end but the pictures come at the beginning. I'll have to work on that one day...
Doug Swallow Girl Rainbow Boy Rainbow I'm so jealous! Another cutie Brad from R.I. British boy Parasols Cinderella's Castle Electric Parade

The Magic Kingdom

The first saturday in June is an unofficial gay day at the Magic Kingdom, Disney World, Orlando, Florida, USA. June 1st 1996 was the 6th annual event, and there were lots of people out there having a good time.

Unfortunately for me, most of them were couples :-( The lovely Brad from Rhode Island (6th picture down) didn't fall into this category but I managed to lose track of him courtesy of the disney transport system and the vast distances involved in moving around the resort. Who knows what might have been, had I been extremely lucky and he suddenly lost all his senses?

I think the guy on the left of the first piccie is Doug Swallow, the organiser of the event, but I may be wrong and he might be just out of shot on the right. It all seems to blur in my mind :-)

More text to follow in a couple of days...

Epcot Centre Epcot World Showcase Todd and Steve


More text to follow in a couple of days...

US graffiti


On my trip over there I had a fair few conversations with Americans, whose political views varied from right-wing to far right-wing. Well, that's not completely accurate - the gay people at Disney and the people I met who were working (rather than travelling) seemed pretty middle-of-the-road, and a social worker from St. Paul was an obvious liberal (I gave her an interesting book on London boys with dangerous lifestyles).

However, the family from Salt Lake City (complete with gorgeous son) were constitutional fundamentalists, the international arms dealer from Montana (who lived 100 miles from the Unabomber) was not exactly a fan of big government (or any government come to think of it!), the retired navy man was somewhat of a hawk, and the former Oklahoma farmer not exactly white of neck (although he was a very nice guy).

As you can see from the graffiti here I saw engraved in the pavement next to International Drive in Orlando (which says "Belsen was a gas" above a swastika) there are certainly some elements of society there with even more right-wing views. My apologies to any German viewers who have just broken the law by downloading that picture.

People there have a much more positive and can-do attitude than I am used to, so I'll try to be brief in this section of typical whinging.

A shop I saw in Orlando was selling all sorts of nasty books and weapons and spying devices - protected under various constitutional amendments in the US but surely banned or hard-to-find in the UK.

People of various cultures seemed to be more assimilated into the melting pot than they do in London. Whilst a New Zealander and a Pakistani I saw there had managed to retain some of their accent, two Jamaicans and an Indian had lost theirs entirely, picking up regional US accents. I think there may be great pressure to conform when you live here. Also immigrants have less rights, not being able to vote (even in local elections) and finding it more difficult to acquire citizenship than in the UK.

And yet the shop assistant (R.J.) at the airport who I spoke to gave me one of the most thoughtful conversations I had had for a long time. The staff at all the places I shopped at were very friendly without being obsequious.

The quality of service and entertainment was very high. Although I never saw a policeperson during my stay I never felt in danger, and had a very good time.

So in conclusion, I can say that Orlando deserves its reputation as being one of the great tourist destinations of the world, with the caveat that it requires a bit of time and planning (and a love of queues) to appreciate fully. So when do I start planning my return next year? :-)

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Copyright © 1996 Carl Muller ( carlmuller@hotmail.com). All Rights Reserved.