The famous American department store Macy’s, celebrated by generations of shoppers and immortalized by Hollywood, is busy hawking more than just housewares and clothes these days, much to the chagrin of some consumers who say the iconic store can no longer be “trusted.”
The group “One Million Moms” is among those fit to be tied over the “kinky” shenanigans that played out during last week’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade when moms and dads across America were left to explain to their children why grown men were strutting around dressed like women in sky-high red stiletto boots and lace panties.
"[It] included drag queens, transvestites, transgenders – and the cross-dressing was completely inappropriate with millions of children watching and present at this particular family-friendly event," said Monica Cole, director of "One Million Moms."
The online organization sent out an action alert to its members Thursday, urging them to voice their disapproval to Macy's for allowing the cast of the hit Broadway musical "Kinky Boots" to prance down the street as the opening act of the parade:
Please send Macy's an email letting the company know you no longer trust their store because of their decision to include the "Raise You Up" drag performance during their parade with millions of children present and watching from home.
As WND reported, some Americans took to social media to criticize the performance within minutes of it airing on NBC.
Comments on the department store’s Facebook page included:
“Macy’s worst decision ever … you’ve completely removed the family part of Thanksgiving. Absolutely disgusting."
“In the words of my 10-year-old, ‘well, that was inappropriate,’” one mom wrote.
“I’m sending Macy’s an email to tell them to keep their agenda out of the parade,” another parent wrote. “We will no longer watch the parade and that’s sad because it’s been a tradition in my family for years.”
“There is a time and place to push an agenda and the Thanksgiving parade isn’t it,” one dad wrote. “This will no longer be a part of our family tradition. I shouldn’t have to monitor the stinking parade. My boys are asking me, ‘Are those boys?’”
Approximately 3.5 million people watched the parade in person and upwards of 50 million watched the broadcast.
The "Kinky Boots" performance included lyrics such as "let pride be your guide" and "just be who you wanna be" – all of which resulted in an agenda-driven performance "not suitable for families."
Many parents expressed doubt “Kinky Boots” was included in the parade for good-natured fun.
“I’m sad that our kids have to see stuff like this – none of which is done in fun,” one dad wrote on Facebook. “It’s done in all seriousness with an expectation of acceptance.”
Harvey Fierstein, who wrote the musical about a shoe-factory owner and a drag queen who work together to turn the family business around, seemed to affirm that assessment, telling the New York Post there was a point to the Thanksgiving Day performance.
“You have to start a dialogue,” he said. “And you can’t have a dialogue unless someone says something first. It takes actual work to open up [people’s] minds.”
The show's star Billy Porter and some of his cast mates responded to the controversy by marching over to Macy's the next day to do some Black Friday shopping. Almost all of the male actors were dressed in drag while shopping inside the flagship store.
In a statement sent to Playbill.com, Fierstein reiterated his support for the parade appearance.
"I'm so proud that the cast of Kinky Boots brought their message of tolerance and acceptance to America's parade," Fierstein said in the statement. "Ten years ago I was humbled to ride a float dressed as Mrs. Claus, and it was the thrill of a lifetime. Congratulations to Macy's, on leading the world, not only with your salesmanship, but also your humanity."
According to the retailer's parade policy, participants are invited "exclusively on their ability to provide appropriate family entertainment suitable to the occasion." Macy's also offered its own statement to the newspaper:
“Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has always spotlighted the best of Broadway since the ’60′s, and this year is no exception," the rep said. "As 2013′s Tony award-winning best musical, ‘Kinky Boots’ is not only a hit with Broadway fans, but Black Friday shoppers. Please have them call us and we’ll set them up with our personal shoppers.”
This isn't the first time Macy's has made headlines with its embrace of the LGBT agenda.
In 2011, Macy’s officials ordered a female employee to allow “transgender” customers to change in any dressing room they wished and warned that if she wouldn’t comply she would be fired.
“[She] refused to go against her sincerely held religious beliefs and was terminated from her job,” Liberty Counsel told WND.
The man seen coming out of the women’s room said he was a “cross-dressing female” and some of his friends then “argued with expletives that Macy’s is LGBT-friendly,” Liberty Counsel said.
“Macy’s has essentially opened women’s dressing rooms to every man,” said Mathew Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel. “The LGBT agenda has become the theater of the absurd.”
In 2007, Macy's joined a leading homosexual-rights group’s annual list of the country's top "gay-friendly" major businesses, reported WND.
The score is based on employers’ treatment of “gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender” employees. It measures factors such as non-discrimination policies, diversity training and benefits for domestic partners and transgender employees.