The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, a beloved American tradition that attracts millions of viewers every year, has become the target of a conservative anti-LGBTQ+ group that opposes the inclusion of LGBTQ+ performers in the event. The group, called One Million Moms, has launched a petition to protest what they call a “non-binary and transgender extravaganza” that will expose viewers to the “liberal LGBTQ agenda”. The petition, which has received fewer than 30,000 signatures, has specifically singled out performances by self-identified nonbinary artists from Broadway shows.
One Million Moms is a division of the American Family Association, a group that has been designated as an anti-LGBTQ+ hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The group has a history of voicing discontent regarding LGBTQ+ representation in mainstream media and advertising, having previously condemned an advertisement featuring same-sex couples and boycotted American Girl for introducing a doll with lesbian aunts.
However, despite the outcry from One Million Moms, Macy’s has stood firm in its decision to feature LGBTQ+ performers in the parade, which is set to air on November 23, 2023. Among these performers are Justin David Sullivan, who uses “he/she/they” pronouns and stars in the Broadway musical & Juliet, and Alex Newell, known for using all pronouns and playing the role of Lulu in the Broadway production Shucked. Both performers have made significant strides in advocating for nonbinary representation in the arts.
Macy’s decision has been met with support from GLAAD, a leading LGBTQ+ advocacy organization. Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD, criticized the petition and its backers, stating, “LGBTQ performers in the Thanksgiving Day parade are nothing new, and neither are the desperate pleas for attention and random attacks against inclusion from the One Million Moms project of designated hate group American Family Association”.
Ellis further noted that brands have long recognized that these are not concerned moms, but dedicated anti-LGBTQ activists. She also cited data from GLAAD that supports the wide public acceptance of LGBTQ+ inclusion. Recent polling shows approximately 75 percent of non-LGBTQ+ Americans are comfortable with LGBTQ+ representation in advertisements. Furthermore, a December 2022 report by GLAAD and the Edelman Trust Institute found that Americans support brands that advocate for LGBTQ+ rights.
The controversy surrounding the parade has sparked a broader conversation about LGBTQ+ representation in mainstream media and advertising. The inclusion of LGBTQ+ performers in this year’s parade is a testament to the progress that has been made in promoting representation and acceptance in mainstream media. Despite the backlash from conservative groups, the parade stands as a symbol of unity and acceptance, reflecting the diverse fabric of American society.
Hate Group Targets Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade for LGBTQ Acts
GLAAD Defends LGBTQ+ Inclusion in Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade
Non-Binary Thanksgiving Day Parade Controversy, Explained – The Mary Sue