Metro Weekly

One Million Moms Calls for Boycott of Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade

The right-wing organization is denouncing the century-old parade as a "nonbinary and transgender extravaganza."

Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade – Photo: Peter Roan, via Flickr

A conservative activist group known for its boycotts of events, companies, and products that support LGBTQ inclusion is seeking a boycott of the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

One Million Moms has issued a petition that has amassed over 21,000 signatures so far. It accuses Macy’s of attempting to expose “tens of millions of viewers at home to the liberal LGBTQ agenda.”

The group primarily takes issue with including musical performances from two Broadway shows — & Juliet and Shucked — both of which feature trans or nonbinary performers.

Justin David Sullivan, who is nonbinary, plays the role of May, a nonbinary friend of Juliet in & Juliet, while Alex Newell, a Tony Award winner who is also nonbinary, plays the female character Lulu in Shucked.

Calling the parade a “nonbinary and transgender extravaganza,” the group laments Sullivan’s decision to decline eligibility for the Tony Awards on the grounds that the traditional gender-based acting categories are not inclusive enough for gender-nonconforming actors. 

The group also blasts Newell for wearing women’s clothing in public appearances and for donning a “shimmering, gold ball gown” at this year’s Tony Awards. 

“Thanksgiving Day, this liberal nonsense will be broadcast live from New York on NBC, starting at 8:30 a.m. Eastern,” the petition reads.

“This isn’t the first time the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade featured gender non-conforming performers. In 2021, transgender pop star Kim Petras performed during the parade, becoming the first transgender celebrity to perform during this once family-friendly holiday tradition.”

The group then admonishes Macy’s for green-lighting performances from the two musicals instead of demanding the exclusion of Sullivan and Newell.

“Shame on Macy’s for promoting and sponsoring this type of entertainment,” the petition reads. “We still cannot trust Macy’s Dept. Store. It is clear that Macy’s does not have our children’s best interests in mind. Macy’s needs to know that trust must be earned, and once trust is lost, it is difficult to get back.”

The petition calls on signatories to refrain from watching the parade coverage and to refuse to support Macy’s financially. 

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which first took place in 1924, is the second-oldest in the United States. It typically features large balloons in the shape of cartoon characters, colorful floats, and live musical and dance performances by various artists, bands, and groups.

The parade is broadcast live on TV, although commentators who cover it rarely mention the identities of LGBTQ participants.

It remains to be seen whether anything will come of One Million Moms’ call for a boycott of the parade.

While typically, boycotts the organization calls rarely gain traction outside of right-wing circles, this year there has been a backlash against corporations expressing support for LGBTQ inclusion.

For example, a  transgender influencer’s inclusion in a web ad for Bud Light sparked huge controversy and led to a large-scale boycott of parent company Anheuser-Busch’s products.

Similarly, retail giant Target became the subject of a boycott for selling Pride-themed merchandise in stores.

Several other companies have also been blasted for expressing support for the LGBTQ community during June’s Pride Month, with even previously friendly pro-LGBTQ companies like Starbucks accused by employees of taking down pro-LGBTQ decorations.

The LGBTQ media advocacy group GLAAD responded to the controversy, accusing anti-LGBTQ opponents of seeking to generate faux outrage.

“LGBTQ performers in tthe 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,” Sarah Kate Ellis, the president and CEO of GLAAD, said in a statement. “Brands have long learned that these are not concerned moms, but dedicated anti-LGBTQ activists.

“LGBTQ people are already welcome in living rooms and around the Thanksgiving table as our family, friends, and neighbors. Including transgender and gender-nonconforming performers, their incredible talents and unstoppable joy, shows viewers everywhere that all are welcome, including in our country’s great traditions and stages. LGBTQ people and the growing acceptance among supermajorities of Americans are blessings we can all be grateful for.”

Editor’s note: This story was updated to include comment from GLAAD.

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