In a significant display of public sentiment, nearly 17,000 individuals have expressed their disapproval through a petition targeting the inclusion of transgender and non-binary performers in the upcoming Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The petition, initiated by the conservative group One Million Moms, criticizes the department store for what they describe as promoting a “liberal LGBTQ agenda” to the millions expected to watch the parade.
The annual event, which has been a staple since 1924, is anticipated to draw over 50 million television viewers and 3.5 million spectators along the streets of New York City. However, this year’s parade has become a point of contention due to the scheduled appearance of two transgender Broadway stars, Justin David Sullivan and Alex Newell, both of whom have been vocal about their gender identities.
Really @macys ! .. it’s a parade ..
a simple parade is being turned into another “woke” message ..
— CurlsGreenEyes (@CurlsGreenEyes9) November 13, 2023
Sullivan, known for their role in the Broadway show & Juliet, has been an advocate for diversity and representation. They have previously made headlines by opting out of the Tony awards over the binary nature of its categories. Newell, who gained fame on the TV series Glee and recently won a Tony award, is also set to perform in the parade.
Critics of Macy’s decision argue that the inclusion of such performers is not family-friendly and accuse the store of failing to consider the best interests of children. The backlash echoes recent controversies where corporate tie-ups with transgender figures have led to boycotts and financial repercussions, as seen with Bud Light’s partnership with trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney.
.@Macys to feature trans influencers for your kids to watch at this year’s Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade.
— CommiesOnCampus (@CommiesOnCampus) November 14, 2023
The petition explicitly condemns Macy’s for “promoting and sponsoring this type of entertainment,” suggesting that the trust between the store and its conservative customer base has been compromised. The group behind the petition warns Macy’s of the potential consequences, citing the importance of earning and maintaining consumer trust.
This incident is not the first time Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has featured LGBTQ+ representation. In 2021, the parade included German transgender pop star Kim Petras, marking a historic moment for the event. However, the current outcry indicates a growing divide between those advocating for inclusivity and those who believe such representations are inappropriate for a family event.
The debate over the parade’s lineup highlights broader societal tensions regarding the visibility and acceptance of transgender individuals in mainstream media and public events. While some praise the move towards greater inclusivity, others view it as a departure from traditional values.
As the parade approaches, the controversy continues to gain traction, with many waiting to see how Macy’s will respond to the petition and whether the event will proceed as planned. The outcome may set a precedent for how cultural events navigate the inclusion of diverse identities in the future.
In conclusion, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, a beloved holiday tradition, has become the latest battleground in the ongoing cultural debate over LGBTQ+ rights and representation. With thousands voicing their opposition, the event underscores the challenges faced by institutions attempting to balance inclusivity with the varied expectations of their audience.