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Macy's Thanksgiving Parade Is Ready to Make Queer History - Advocate.com

Macy's Thanksgiving Parade Is Ready to Make Queer History - Advocate.com

Macy's Thanksgiving Parade Is Ready to Make Queer History - Advocate.com
Nov 24, 2022 1 min, 35 secs

However, one thing that hasn’t changed is the blood, sweat, and tears it takes to put on what will this year be the 96th annual Thanksgiving parade.

Whatley has been with Macy’s for 20 years, and he’s arguably the most popular person at the retailer.

Whatley is also out and proud, and he’s prouder than ever this year, since Macy’s is introducing even more LGBTQ+ cast and performances, including an all-queer band.

I asked Whatley to talk about the importance of having the first all-queer marching band, Queer Big Apple Corps Marching Band, in the parade’s long history.

As a kid growing up in south Georgia and being in marching bands, I never imagined that I’d ever see a queer marching band in the parade,” he recalled.

“I’ve been thinking about how much that would have changed the way I felt and saw myself if I had seen a queer marching band when I was young at a big national event like the parade.

Whatley said the band had to meet all the criteria the Macy’s team establishes for bands that submit themselves for consideration to march in the parade.

Whatley said that each year, the band made improvements, and this year, it met all the requirements for participation?

Twenty years ago, when Whatley did his first parade, did he ever think there would be such a queer presence in the parade some day.

We will have Gloria Estefan and her entire family, Mariah Carey and her two kids, and I’d go so far to say that we’ll have the family that is the Queer Big Apple Corps Marching band

We know in the queer community how important it is to make our own families, so I know what that’s about, and I also know from my experience with marching bands that they create their own families as well


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