A Look at the Macy's Thanksgiving Gay Parade

BY Lucas Grindley

November 25 2011 12:32 AM ET

Updated at 9:30 p.m. PT 

Actor Harvey Fierstein is credited for first doing it in 2003 (thanks to a reader for finding the old clip). But when men in drag performed as part of this year's big Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, they actually had a rival for the annual event's gayest moment.

The cast from Broadway's Priscilla, Queen of the Desert added a shot of camp to the parade, which is usually at its most outrageous when the Rockettes kick up their heels in lurid unison.

Then ice skating star (and a LOGO reality TV personality) Johnny Weir stirred up the crowd in front of Herald Square, arriving on an oversized rocking horse, confetti blowing in the air, while being announced to television viewers as a "winter monarch."

James Dobson of Focus on the Family once claimed SpongeBob SquarePants
was sending subliminal gay messages to unsuspecting kid viewers, and so
the cartoon sponge's repeat appearance in the national Thanksgiving parade might
have been enough to alarm some on the right wing.

When Fierstein used his role as Edna in Hairspray to dress as Mrs. Claus, the parade authorities were quick to point out it's not a political event, just entertaining. But others pointed to the moment as a signal of mainstream culture's acceptance of the LGBT community. Have we taken a few more steps in 2011? Check out both of the moments in the few homemade clips we found on YouTube.

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