Boston | Gay Pride

Macy's Removes Gay Mannequins After Wingnuts Complain


Here's a great visual metaphor for what the wingnut bigots would like to see happen to gay people.


MannequinsMacy's Downtown Crossing Department Store in Boston caved to conservative group MassResistance (formerly Article 8 Alliance) and removed two mannequins from a Gay Pride display after complaints from the group that the display was offensive. The display was designed by Macy's with approval of the Boston Pride Committee.

Said MassResistance President Brian Camenker: "They were male mannequins with enlarged breasts, and one was wearing a skirt. It was really disgusting."

Um, that skirt would be a gay pride flag. I wonder if Camenker would have been equally offended had the store used mannequins with flatter chests and slacks?

No matter, the real bullshit here is that Macy's caved to this fringe bigot.

A Macy's spokesperson responded to the store's actions: "We believe in diversity, and our customers are very important to us. But (the display) did offend a few of our customers, and we had to reexamine it."

Did they happen to think about what their gay customers and employees would think of the move? Obviously not. I'll think twice before stepping into another Macy's until the store reassembles the display and apologizes.

After the jump, find a photo of the bigot from MassResistance, Brian Camenker, as well as an email that Macy's is apparently sending out in response to the actions.



Email from Macy's:

To: -------

Like many other community initiatives and organizations that Macy's has supported over the years, including window displays and programs in celebration of Black History Month and St. Patricks Day, the window currently showcasing events for Boston Pride week at Macy's downtown supports a diverse part of our community. Macy's respects the many backgrounds, traditions, beliefs and heritage of all our customers and will continue to support a range of community causes, organizations, and initiatives that add to the cultural diversity of the markets we serve.

Our intention is always to welcome and include all members of the communities we serve, and certainly is never intended to cause any discomfort to you or any of our shoppers. I regret that we have offended you in any way in our commitment to be inclusive. We thank you for taking the time to inform us of your concerns and hope that you will reconsider your decision to visit us again.


Christine Stewart
Customer Service Specialist

Feel free to contact Christine and let her know how gays and lesbians feel about what the store did.

Macy's Yanks Gay Display, Blasted by Both Sides [boston herald]
Macy's at center of gay rights flap [boston channel]

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  1. Next time I see a Macy's store with any hint of anything christianist in the display - it's on.

    Posted by: Linear | Jun 7, 2006 10:19:01 AM

  2. I agree with the previous comment. Contacting Macy's is something we all can do and just takes a few minutes.

    Posted by: kent fischer | Jun 7, 2006 10:26:53 AM

  3. My partner and I just closed our Macy's and Bloomingdales accounts. Very stupid of them to piss off the market share with the largest amount of disposable income. Big mistake, Federated, Big.

    Posted by: Jeff | Jun 7, 2006 10:28:20 AM

  4. I just emailed Macy's and told them I would no longer shop there. What were they thinking? Do they really think that an over-priced department store can survive without gay clientele?

    Posted by: Sam | Jun 7, 2006 10:31:29 AM

  5. Your damn tootin it's easy. I just left a message to poor Elina, below to let her know that since the company made gay people disappear from her store window because they are offensive, I and all my family will to make my presence and my credit card disappear forever from Macys AND Bloomingdales, who are the same company.

    Let's make this a Pride Month project!!!

    Just think....they put those gay manniquins in a closet somewhere! This ranks with accusing Spongebob and Tinky Winky of being gay and Murphy Brown of being a slut! Excuse me, you hate gay people so much you had to ditch the gay manniquins!
    Macy's Corporate Marketing
    Headquarters: New York, NY
    Ronnie Taffet
    Vice President, Public Relations
    Macy's East
    Headquarters: New York, NY
    Includes Macy's Filene's, Hecht's, Kaufmann's and Strawbridge's stores in Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Eastern Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C.

    Elina Kazan
    Director, Publicity

    Posted by: Brian NYC | Jun 7, 2006 10:31:54 AM

  6. Please. Enlarged breasts or not, that towel is hideous.

    Posted by: whitney houston | Jun 7, 2006 10:32:06 AM

  7. It saddens me to think, for every one step we make, we are constantly reminded of how much we still need to push forward. June maybe GAY PRIDE, but we need to examine how we choose to celebrate - and of course, to stop shopping at Macy's. If those so called wignuts can boycott, so can the gay community.

    Posted by: Dan | Jun 7, 2006 10:33:12 AM

  8. I just wrote to them and told them that I would never buy from any of their affiliates. I'm also sending them a letter to headquarters, and I'm sending this to all of my queer friends. As a Boston resident, this makes me sick.

    Posted by: Gabriel | Jun 7, 2006 10:34:39 AM

  9. This shows the true face of the right-wing religious leaders who claim that they don't hate homosexuals and are only trying to defend traditional marriage. Their spokesperson clearly stated that a man who appeared to be gay was "disgusting". He was particularly offended by a "man wearing a skirt". First of all, from the picture I'm not sure if the mannequin was wearing a flag or a towel, but it was most definitely NOT a skirt. And so what if it was a skirt. Does that mean that he is offended, and will state as much, by men wearing kilts or other forms of male, non-bisected, lower extremity garments? And secondly, does he find it offensive when a man wraps a towel around his waist in such a fashion as to resemble a skirt? If so 90% of men in America are offensive when they step out of the shower.

    God this person's, as well as most gender nazi's, manhood and sexuality must be EXTREMELY fragile!!

    Posted by: Zeke | Jun 7, 2006 10:43:55 AM

  10. Ms. Stewart-

    I was surprised by the recent switch out of your gay pride display at Macy's Downtown Crossing Department Store in Boston.
    As a life-long Macy's customer, I can't help but feel that you've made it very clear that the gay community isn't as important as
    other, bigoted factions.

    I thought your display was tasteful in support of the diversity which makes up Macy's customer base. Regretfully, I can not
    support a company that doesn't support me.

    James Byron

    P.S.- Would Macy's ever do away with its Spring Flower showcase simply because I was allergic?

    Posted by: James | Jun 7, 2006 10:49:48 AM

  11. I can't imagine the "white flowers" at Federated initiated this. Nevertheless, I have just sent Ms. Stewart an email informing her that I am taking my $$$$$
    However,can you imagine the "End Time" that would accompany a call for a gay boycott of Bloomies?

    Posted by: Hadassah Weinreb | Jun 7, 2006 10:51:23 AM

  12. Coincidentally, I just got my Macy's credit card in the mail 3 days ago. I've cut it up into tiny pieces and will not shop at Macys again.

    Posted by: Bill | Jun 7, 2006 10:56:56 AM

  13. I actually chuckled when I saw this story, because these people are so ridiculous. "Enlarged breasts?" I can't imagine them having the same problem if the mannequins were female.

    I've been meaning to go to Macy's to get a facial scrub I like. I'll have to find another department store to go to. Hitting them in the pocket, and letting them know about it, is certainly the best way to get their attention.

    Posted by: Cyd | Jun 7, 2006 11:00:57 AM

  14. It's unfortunate for Macy's. With the number of gay men and women working in it's corporate/retail environment, it's as if they are slapping the very people who've built that company up.

    Given all the other outlets by which to shop, it won't be hard to write off Federated Dept. Stores from that list.

    This just makes it very easy for me to edit those that don't support me.

    Posted by: Sam | Jun 7, 2006 11:01:48 AM

  15. This is an odd reaction by Macy's, in light of their fairly recent (last 2 or 3 years?) foray into advertising in the gay press.

    Posted by: Joe.My.God. | Jun 7, 2006 11:04:00 AM

  16. I sent a note to Christine:

    Good Morning Christine,

    I've recently learned of Macy's decision to alter a Gay Pride display window in your Boston store after receiving complaints from patrons. Please allow me to start by saying that I appreciate your intention to validate customer concerns and acknowledge them for sharing their feedback.

    However, given the company's stated committments to diversity and inclusiveness, Macy's has missed an opportunity to walk its talk. Corporate values are defined for exactly this purpose - to take a clear stand when questions of proper protocol arise. The company's decision to alter the display window after receiving discriminatory complaints stands in direct opposition with your stated committment to inclusiveness.

    It is perfectly appropriate for patrons to request that a window be changed if they are offended. And I would expect Macy's to acknowledge the individual and his concern. However, to validate a discriminatory opinion by taking action that is in opposition with stated corporate values diminishes the trust that the community has in the company and in the brand.

    I wonder if you were to design a window in celebration of Black History Month, would you alter the window if racist store patrons were offended? What if someone complained that the skin on your mannequins were too dark?

    The Macy's message is clear: we align our company practices with the opinions of consumers who do not value diversity and inclusiveness. As such, Macy's does indeed not take a stand for diversity and inclusiveness.

    I am disappointed with your actions in this matter and request that you take steps to publicly demonstrate a true committment to diversity and inclusiveness in this matter.

    Again, you are presented with a choice.

    Posted by: Dante | Jun 7, 2006 11:04:34 AM

  17. Did you also notice that they whited out the web addresses from the window display? What's up with that??? If every gay man and lesbian with a Federated credit card cancelled it, they would likely go broke since they make a fortune on their high interest rates.

    Posted by: Ken Kidd | Jun 7, 2006 11:06:10 AM

  18. Macy's is a ghetto version of a wanna be department store. Does anyone besides trash shop there anyway?

    Posted by: MT | Jun 7, 2006 11:07:30 AM

  19. I emailed her also, let her know that I was offended by the opposite sex mannequins and expected them to be taken down. I then cut up my Macy's card and dropped it in the mail to her, with a note that we'll be working a kiosk at the Dallas Pride event to allow other Gays the opportunity to cut up their cards, then we'll send all of the plastic pieces right back to them. Do they really believe that the wing-nuts spend as much as The Gays at these stores?? Hit them in the bottom line and they'll change course... you can count on it!

    Posted by: Wayne | Jun 7, 2006 11:08:14 AM

  20. I just wrote to them:

    Dear Miss Stewart,

    Good morning.

    I feel compel to write about macy's pull outs of the mannequins from the window display in Boston.

    As a huge retail store in the United States, Macy has the power of exposure to promote diversity, to be abreast of what is right, and what is wrong. You should have taken a stand, set a standard in the forefront of acceptance in this country.

    In taking out the male mannequins, you've set yourself back to where the conservatives want you to be, intimidated and fearful.

    Today the gays are being targeted, tomorrow, your lingerie collection, your underwear promotion, your colored mannequins and so on. If you do succumb to all these nonsense, you might as well just put black cloth over all your window displays now.

    Have foresight, do what is right, and perhaps one day, you'll lead the retail industry both in sales and consciousness.


    Posted by: pat | Jun 7, 2006 11:11:20 AM

  21. I am from Boston and a shopper at that Macy's. I just wrote a long letter to express my anger over all of this.

    I made a point that if the original display had two male mannequins dressed in tuxedos, that they still would have gotten the same negative response from homophobes. I also pointed out that Gay Marriage is legal in Massachusetts and of all places such an act of removing an innocent display as this can be considered a very hostile and homophobic act against many patrons of their store.

    Posted by: Patrick | Jun 7, 2006 11:20:38 AM

  22. CYD-

    Which facial scrub do you use?


    Posted by: Sam | Jun 7, 2006 11:25:01 AM

  23. Adding to Brian NYC's comment, here's the email address for
    Ronnie Taffet
    Vice President, Public Relations
    Macy's Corporate Marketing
    Headquarters: New York, NY

    I sent her a note, too.

    Posted by: Dante | Jun 7, 2006 11:31:28 AM

  24. About 25 years ago (OK I'm telling my age) I worked at Goldsmith's, a Federated department store in Memphis, TN. I remember the controversy incited one year when the store put up a window display celebrating Black History Month. There were a number of complaints from people calling the display offensive. It was almost identical to the display causing such a stir in Boston today. The display had a man and a woman standing in close proximity, dressed in African wardrobes with a list of dates of importance in African-American (AMERICAN) history.

    Who would have thought that BOSTON would be at the center of a minority visibility controversy almost identical to one in the Deep South 25 years ago.

    No matter what people may believe about human evolution there is no doubt that the FACT of social DEvolution is undeniable!

    Posted by: Zeke | Jun 7, 2006 11:33:14 AM

  25. "one was wearing a skirt. It was really disgusting."

    Yes, because if pants were good enough for Jesus, then they're good enough for all men... oh..wait...

    Posted by: Alan | Jun 7, 2006 11:51:32 AM

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