A throwback to my childhood, kicking it back in toon town with an irritating pick eye living my best life with the mains. I remember waking up super drowsy after a scary movie night watching “Evil Dead” and the tio’s, tia’s, and grandma surprising the kids with a trip to Magic Kingdom. I think back and try to imagine how much work they all put in to send the entire family to an amusement park and it really fills my heart at their commitment to giving us the best childhood they could given our financial circumstances.

The entire time the cousin’s collective would run around taking everything in; the long lines, the rubber-textured buildings, and the hopes of crossing paths with Mickey. And really, I had my own agenda to get some of the chisme from Daisy, Minnie, and as many of the princesses as possible. I recall me and my prima being the fashionable divas with the jackets wrapped around the waist and our “super-fast” athletic shoes. Nobody couldn’t tell us nothing with our looks, energy, and ice-cream.

While many of us in this picture were so young and the memories potentially faint for some, this experience remains symbolically important and vivid for me. I’m not a huge fan of the franchise now but I did experience my grandma’s love for the different characters. She would have the Disney merchandise throughout her trailer and most notably the Mickey and Minnie plush dolls that sat next to her rotary dial phone. She’s not pictured in this one, but I know she enjoyed this day as much as we did.

J. Aces Lira (He/Him/His) Chicago, IL

Aces Lira is a Gran Varones Fellow. His is a MSW/MA graduate student in Women Studies and Gender Studies at Loyola University Chicago. As a Research Assistant, he is based in the US Regional Network within the International Partnership for Queer Youth Resilience (INQYR) and is getting a foot in the door on all things research-related. Outside of the books, Aces orchestrates portraits along with art through different mediums and also lives for National Park excursions.


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