Sunday, June 03, 2007

Macy's Still Apologizing to Queers

One year after Macy's Pride window display debacle, the company is still trying to make amends to the LGBT community. They have a new window display this year celebrating Boston Pride. This time there are no mannequins.

Last year Macy's caved in to the anti-gay group MassResistance and removed the mannequins from their Boston Pride display window. MassResistance complained to the company that the mannequins featured in the display were offensive because they had "enlarged breasts".

After Macy's removed the mannequins, they were flooded with calls and emails from people criticizing them for caving in to the anti-gay radical right. QueerToday organized a protest in front of the store. We marched into the store and to the management offices to voice our outrage.Even Mayor Menino chimed in, "I'm very surprised that Macy's would bend to that type of pressure," Menino told Bay Windows. "Macy's was celebrating a part of our community, gay Pride, and they should be proud of the gay community, and I'm proud of the gay community and gay Pride. Once again it's the radical right wing that's doing it. They don't represent the people."

Macy's eventually apologized for removing the mannequins and admitted they had made a mistake. Now Macy's is trying to make good with the LGBT community. They have again apologized for their mistake with last years Pride display. The CEO of Macy’s East blames an “internal breakdown in communication” for the debacle last year.

This years Boston Pride window display was designed by a member of
the Boston Pride Committee. I took a walk downtown last week to see the display. It is nice to see the large rainbow flag backdrop and the silhouette of two men holding hands along with the Boston Pride Calender.

However, the display seems a bit empty to me. How did we go from two life-like full scale mannequins, to just a silhouette of hands holding? That seems backwards to me. I can't blame Macy's for this though, it was designed by a Boston Pride Committee member.However, I will give the Boston Pride Committee props for not letting Macy's off the hook too easy. Instead of praising Macy's for actually having a Pride window display again this year, vice president of the Boston Pride Committee, Keri Aulita, said the organization isn’t going to forgive and forget. “Does one action make amends for something that was really painful for the community? No,” Aulita said. “They’re very well aware that the road to repair is not going to be a quick fix. We’re holding them to a continued relationship, and so far we’ve seen nothing but them willing to do so.”

Update: According to Kyle Hemingway, the designer of the Pride display window, he "was
only charged with the creation of the graphic, the emptiness of the window is the artistic intention of Macy's".


At 10:44 PM, Anonymous Kyle Hemingway said...

Hi Chris,

I stumbled upon your blog looking for photos of this year's Macy's window display. I'd like to take this opportunity to correct an incorrect assumption you've made in your post.

My name is Kyle Hemingway, and I am the designer of the display in the Macy's window this year. I was given the instruction from the Pride committee to design a pride graphic that was being used by Macy's in a display that they were designing. I was only charged with the creation of the graphic, the emptiness of the window is the artistic intention of Macy's, and I can't say I hate it. I like its simplicity. It gets the message across in an uncluttered way.

Fabulous photos, by the way.

Yours in Pride,

At 9:41 AM, Blogger Chris Mason said...

Thanks for this information Kyle. I do like the pride graphic you created. I wish the window was not so noticeably empty though.

At 8:49 AM, Anonymous Vita Sackville-West said...

Um, when I first read about the protest that the mannequins' breasts were enlarged, I was confused: mannequin breasts are always enlarged.

ooh- you mean men! like MANnequins. Well, honestly as a grrl who likes breasts of all sizes, I would have been a little sad not to see more breasts. Like two sets, together.

You see, I'm just funny that way, I read the 2007 window display as two dykes holding hands.

happy pride! viva la vulva!

At 10:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I felt compelled to add that I read the 2007 window display as a man and a woman holding hands. Go figure?

Wishing you all blessed PRIDEs!

At 3:41 PM, Blogger alex said...

another way macy's put forth an effort to make amends was by being the presenting sponsor for the boston AIDS walk this past sunday...

they're working on it.

At 5:03 PM, Blogger Tom said...

I still think that what Macys did last year is unforgivable. Many of us were at the forefront of discussion with them and I can tell you the bureaocracy and lack of compassion was astounding. And also, I received a phone call from the PR director of the AAC when our blog criticized Macys. He asked me to remove my post because, "Macys had been goo to the AAC"

I explained that that is all wonderful that they wrote you a check, however, Macys lack of a decent response in 2006 and its giving in to Brian Camenker really hurt the dignity of many an LGBT person. We cannot be silent because some organization was given a donation.

I personally ripped up my Macys card and everytime I am sent an email or sent a promotional letter, I return it with a little "response" of my own.

At 4:43 PM, Anonymous Gunner said...

If Macy's really want to make amends they should be writing a check to the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition... as it was transphobia that was used by Brian... claims that the mannequin was transgender...

that part alwyas seems to be forgotten... much like trans people

At 6:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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