This year's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City will feature performances from shows currently on Broadway, a longstanding tradition for the holiday event. In response to the presence of trans and nonbinary cast members, the anti-LGBTQ group One Million Moms has published a petition urging families to boycott the event and the department store. Right-wing print and cable outlets have highlighted the petition, editorializing the story with further anti-LGBTQ rhetoric.
The petition warns that “unless they are forewarned about it, this year’s holiday parade will potentially expose tens of millions of viewers at home to the liberal LGBTQ agenda.” It goes on to name the trans and nonbinary performers that will be part of the parade as well as Kim Petras, the trans pop star who performed in the parade in 2021. The petition also claims that “Macy’s does not have our children’s best interests in mind,” and urges a brand boycott.
As the petition admits – both by mentioning Petras and by prominently featuring an image of Harvey Fierstien in drag at the 2003 parade – this is not the first time the event has included LGBTQ performers. The petition dovetails with the wave of anti-LGBTQ boycott efforts that have reflected anti-LGBTQ sentiment throughout 2023. Although past assessments have suggested that One Million Moms is actually far smaller than its name suggests, the site claimed nearly 30,000 signatures as of Wednesday afternoon.
The petition has also been boosted by right-wing broadcast media. Newsmax's The Right Squad repeated OMM's framing of the parade, referring to Macy's supposed “liberal agenda” and debating whether merely including a trans or nonbinary cast member amounts to “pushing sexuality on children.”
The following morning, Newsmax's Wake Up America followed suit, referring to the parade's “woke agenda” and discussing the actors’ inclusion above a newsticker reading, “Is Macy's parade no longer safe for children?” The network's National Report also repeated this framing, claiming that the parade posed a risk of “indoctrination.”
Fox and Friends also featured the story, with guest and Alliance Defending Freedom President Kristen Waggoner claiming that “Macy's inclusion of a nonbinary transgender character in a parade is just another example of an ideological war that's being waged on families.”
In addition to doubling down on the anti-LGBTQ fearmongering instigated by the OMM petition, the segments also warned Macy's that it would face conservative backlash consistent with anti-LGBTQ boycott efforts organized against corporate brands like Bud Light, Target, and Disney earlier this year.