LGBTQ Marching Band Makes 1st Appearance On Thanksgiving Day Parade

Lesbian and Gay Big Apple Corps at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (image via Instagram)

The Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps is one of the first queer marching bands in the United States, founded in 1979 in New York City.

This year, the Big Apple Corps became the first openly LGBTQ group to perform in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

From The Atlantic:

The band had to get creative in order to rehearse safely and legally this fall. Practicing indoors was out of the question, so its usual space in a Manhattan parish center would have to be traded for something without walls.

The band needed daylight, so rehearsals would be limited to weekends. New York did not allow gatherings of more than 50 people, but more than 80 musicians and color-guard members and confetti-cannon shooters needed to practice, so organizers began to investigate their options in New Jersey. They soon settled on a parking lot in the Newark suburbs, between a soccer stadium and a PATH station.

For six sunny Saturdays in October and November, the members of the Big Apple Corps spaced themselves eight feet apart along the yellow lines of the parking spaces, covered the ends of their instruments with plastic, and played.

Many on the Twitterverse noted the inclusion of an LGBTQ marching band wishing they’d seen such representation when they were in their marching band days.

Congrats to everyone on the achievement!

You can watch a bit of the Big Apple Corps’ Thanksgiving Day performance of the ABBA hit ‘Dancing Queen’ below.

#TBT – Thanksgiving Produced By Marie Callender’s

Ignore my face – Marie Callender’s did right by us

Hot hubby Michael and I have been cooking all morning, but I was reminded of the time we did a ‘pre-cooked’ Thanksgiving meal from Marie Callender’s.

p.s. it turned out tasty, but we like our family tradition-recipes 🙂

We are a household that cooks on the holidays. In the past several years, Michael has become more and more the ‘foodie,’ which bodes well for me 🙂

Michael does his Food Network & New Jersey Italian thing, and I offer my southern/soul food cuisine.

But I thought I’d do a little #TBT when in 2013 we experimented with a prepared Thanksgiving meal from Marie Callenders.

Like the original Pilgrims, Michael returns from foraging in the wilderness for our Thanksgiving feast.
p.s. check out the bicep.  Nice, right?

 

Armed with my cookbooks, I’m taken a bit aback.

 

Michael is so proud.

 

Now, wait a minute…. Oven?  Microwave?

 

Truth.

 

Michael attempts to help with the mashed potatoes

 

Michael poses to show how hard it is to unpack the box from MC. Note the flour splashed on his face…

 

“Look at me!  Look at all I prepared!”

 

Intimate but bountiful.  OK – I’m loving the ease of all this.

 

“Not yet, kids…. not yet….”

 

The glass table top helps to tell the backstage story of what’s going on down under…

 

This pic represents pure love.  Not thinking it’s love of Michael and I, but “pure love….”

 

I made Michael take this cheesy pic.  Thanks to wonder dog Bruno for photog duties.

 

Ok, I have to admit – Marie Callender’s rocked Thanksgiving this year

 

Thanksgiving Memory: Carol Channing & Company “Before The Parade Passes By”

Carol Channing – “Before the Parade Passes By” on the 1995 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

I originally posted this in 2015, but it came up today while watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with holiday guests who didn’t know I once experienced the parade first-hand, so I thought it was worth a repost 🙂


Wow, talk about #ThrowBackThursday!

I can’t believe how time goes by. Twenty years ago today, I made my Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade debut with the 1995 Broadway revival cast of Hello, Dolly! (including the incomparable Tony Award-winner herself, Carol Channing)!

I remember this like it was yesterday. We all had to get up waaaaaaaay early, get down to the Lunt-Fontanne Theater where our show was playing (by 5 am!) to get into costume, and get on a bus to ride about 10 blocks down Broadway to sit in a trailer before we headed out to do “Before The Parade Passes By.”

And it was so cold! You’d never know to look at Carol, though. And what a thrill to be on the most famous and watched parade with the world.

I then headed home for a most fab dinner with (then-boyfriend, now hot hubby) Michael and my bff, Carlye.

During dinner the phone rang, and it was Vanessa Williams calling from the West Coast to say “Happy Thanksgiving!” – and, since she was watching the parade in California – “you look like you’re freezing!” LOL

I still love my Broadway Dolly! family all these years later. What a great memory to find this video today.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

 

 

 

 

News Round-Up: November 23, 2020

L-R Ben Lewis, Blake Lee in ‘The Christmas Setup’ (screen capture)

Some news items you might have missed:

OUT: A new poll from GLAAD shows only 14% of LGBTQ voters cast their ballot for Trump, while 81% voted for the projected president-elect Joe Biden.

The Hill: Sixty-six percent of Republican voters support President Trump running for president again in 2024, according to a new survey.  Also in the poll: 86% would support Trump calling for national unity, 38% would support Trump refusing to give up power and remain in the White House, and 46% would support Trump starting his own TV network.

Lifetime Channel: Check out the first trailer for Lifetime’s The Christmas Setup (lead photo above) – the cable network’s first-ever holiday movie centered on an LGBTQ romance. The film stars real-life couple Blake Lee and Ben Lewis, and The Nanny star Fran Drescher. Looks super-cute! Premieres December 12 at 8 pm ET.

New York Times: More than one million people were screened by the TSA on Sunday – more than on any day since the pandemic took hold in March. That number is about half of what it was in 2019, but experts are concerned that people flying to visit their families for Thanksgiving could increase the spread of the coronavirus.

Mediaite: Far-right nutjob Dan Bongino floated on his podcast Monday that he would consider running for president of the United States in 2024. Bongo has previously run for Congress three times – in Maryland and Florida – and failed each time.

Twitter: Donald Trump Jr., currently quarantining in a private cabin somewhere due to testing positive for the coronavirus, is becoming more and more erratic on social media. In this recent tweet, he asks about burning down the house for Thanksgiving…? #NotFunny

Happy Thanksgiving From The Randy Report (And A Request)

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

At The Randy Report, I talk a lot about politics and the political positions we all have.

The official policies here today are definitely “pro-Thanks” and “pro-Giving.”

I’m thankful for so many things this year – especially my hot hubby, Michael, and the 1st Amendment 🙂

That said, it’s easy for so many to enjoy this day. Whether wealthy or not, most of us have family, friends and a warm place to be today. I’m thankful that’s the case for me and my family today.

But there are many less fortunate.

Today I’m thinking of LGBTQ kids who have been turned out of their homes because their families won’t accept them for who they are, and they become homeless. And that’s just the beginning of a nightmare journey for these kids in crisis.

The mission of the Ali Forney Center in NYC is to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning (LGBTQ) youth from the harm of homelessness, and to support them in becoming safe and independent as they move from adolescence to adulthood.

The Center is committed to providing these young people with safe, dignified, nurturing environments where their needs can be met, and where they can begin to put their lives back together.

I humbly ask you to please take one minute – 60 seconds – and consider what a small donation could mean to help these young people.

If you feel so moved, click over to the Ali Forney Center website and consider this worthy organization when you think of “giving” today.  No amount is too small to help.

For anyone willing to help, donations can be made online via credit card or PayPal.

Or they can be mailed to:
Ali Forney Center
224 West 35th Street, 15th Floor
New York, NY 10001

I’m thankful every day that I get to share, post and pontificate here on The Randy Report.  Hopefully, I entertain a bit, help crack a smile, and every now and then inform.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for being here.

Happy T-day everyone!

Celebrating The First Same-Sex Kiss On The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

The cast of Broadway’s ‘The Prom’ on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

While cooking our Thanksgiving Day celebration meal this morning, I had the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on the big TV, pausing each time a current Broadway show offered a performance for the folks at 34th Street and across the nation.

This year, television viewers were treated to numbers from My Fair Lady, Mean Girls and the most recent addition to the Great White Way, The Prom.

And so it was that I put the stove on simmer and poured a mimosa to watch “Build A Prom” from The Prom.

The show is about a group of Broadway actors who swoop into an Indiana town to save a young teen lesbian whose high school won’t let her bring a girl to her prom.

The show recently opened at the Longacre Theater on Broadway to rave reviews.

Upbeat, lively and full of energy, the musical number closes with two female leading characters, played by Caitlin Kinnunen and Isabelle McCalla, kissing.

We’re pretty sure this is the first same-sex kiss in the parade’s history.

Whoo-hoo!

“Broadway’s The Prom is grateful to Macy’s and NBC for their acceptance and inclusivity of a community and a story that is about acceptance, tolerance and love,” the show’s producers shared with EW. “These are some of the themes reflected in our musical comedy and we are very proud to be the very first LGBTQ kiss on the Thanksgiving Day Parade.”

Here’s the number:

Of course, the Twitterverse went insane (in good and bad ways) over the historic lip-lock.

Celebrated out director and playwright Tina Landau tweeted:

And there’s more…

And then, of course, we have the haters – but who cares? 🙂

Here’s wishing you all a fabulous Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Memory: My Debut On The Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade

Wow, talk about #ThrowBackThursday!

I can’t believe how time goes by. Twenty-three years ago today, I made my Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade debut with the 1995 Broadway revival cast of Hello, Dolly! (including the incomparable Tony Award-winner herself, Carol Channing)!

I remember this like it was yesterday. We all had to get up waaaaaaaay early, get down to the Lunt-Fontanne Theater where we were playing to get into costume, then get on a bus to ride about 10 blocks down Broadway to sit in a trailer before we headed out to do “Before The Parade Passes By.”

And it was so cold! You’d never know to look at Carol, though. And what a thrill to be on the most famous and watched parade with the world.

I then headed to home on the Upper West Side for a most fab dinner with (then boyfriend, now husband) Michael and my bestie, Carlye.

During dinner the phone rang, and it was Vanessa Williams calling from the West Coast to say “Happy Thanksgiving!” – and since she was watching the parade in California – “you look like you’re freezing!” LOL

I still love my Broadway Dolly! family all these years later. What a great memory to find this video today.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!