Powerful. On Thursday, millions of New Yorkers and countless other viewers at home turned up and tuned in to watch the 91st annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which, this year, featured more openly LGBTQ balloon characters than ever before.
This kind of representation is so importantespecially after last year’s parade, which heavily featured heterosexual icons like Paddington Bear and the notoriously homophobic Libertarian podcaster Felix the Cat. We live in a world where queer and trans youth are, from a young age, taught that they cannot grow up to be balloon characters in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. We teach them to shrink themselves, to make their dreams smaller. They can have ambition, but not too much. Perhaps they can become a balloonicle. Maybe even a trycaloon. We teach these kids that they cannot be balloons in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in the way that their cis, straight peers can. By the time they grow up, they believe it themselves.
That’s why what Macy’s did matters. By including more out LGBTQ balloons in the Thanksgiving Day Parade, Macy’s has broken the chain so that this toxic cycle might not continue for another generation. They sensed an injustice and said, “Not today.” They saw a snake eating its own tail and were like, “Can you not??” Macy’swelcome to the #resistance.
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade featured more openly LGBTQ balloons than ever before. Here’s everyone’s favorite fisting top techno circuit daddy, the Red Ranger.
— Scott Fishman (@smFISHMAN) November 23, 2017
And, of course, our fave bisexual educator and third or fourth fave bossy bottom, the Elf on the Shelf.
— annikasoleil (@_hodgybeats_) November 23, 2017
Well, steal our Christmas and call us your little slut bitches! It’s our no. 1 hard femme domme top, the Grinch.
— Veronica 🕊 (@truimage4u) November 23, 2017
He’s not gay as in happy but queer as in lives in a pineapple under the sea: It’s Spongebob Squarepants!
SpongeBob Balloon in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade this morning!!!! This is the iconic Spone’s 13th time in the Parade, and the 5th year for this balloon!!!! Happy Thanksgiving!!!! 😊🦃🍗🍖🎈🍍💛💗 #MacysThanksgivingDayParade #MacysParade2017 #SpongeBob #ThanksgivingParade pic.twitter.com/BIVTiW4jCP
— Adam Silverstein (@SpongeBobAlways) November 23, 2017
Oh, wow! Look at heteroromantic gray ace vlogger Charlie Brown go!
— Travis Orozco (@travis_orozco) November 24, 2017
She’s here! She’s queer! She believes trans women are women! It’s Olaf from Frozen.
— Jeff Edwards (@AvgJsportsfan) November 23, 2017
And last but not least, the Pillsbury Doughperson.
The @Pillsbury Doughboy made an appearance in the @Macys #ThanksgivingDayParade today, and he was MASSIVE. It would take FOUR MILLION Crescent Rolls to fill his balloon up! #Pillsbury #PillsburyDoughboy #PoppinFresh #Macys #MacysParade #MacysThanksgivingDayParade pic.twitter.com/1KTa26bHPu
— ♑ James Thomas ♑ (@BarbieFan2006) November 23, 2017