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Target Is Removing Some Pride Merch Because Bigots Complained

Target Is Removing Some Pride Merch Because Bigots Complained


Target says it is facing "threats impacting our team member's sense of safety and well-being while at work" because of the collection.

Target is pulling some Pride-themed merchandise from its store shelves after backlash from angry transphobes and homophobes.

For a decade, Target has had one of the best corporate Pride merch collections of any company. This year, however, the company is giving in to hateful bigots who are threatening the company with boycotts and attacks over its Pride collection. The company has now announced that it will be removing some of its more “controversial” Pride products.

According to a spokesperson, Target has seen an increase in confrontations between angry shoppers and employees, and incidents of Pride merch being taken off the shelves and thrown on the floor.

“Since introducing this year's collection, we've experienced threats impacting our team members' sense of safety and well-being while at work,” a statement from Target reads. “Given these volatile circumstances, we are making adjustments to our plans, including removing items that have been at the center of the most significant confrontational behavior. Our focus now is on moving forward with our continuing commitment to the LGBTQIA+ community and standing with them as we celebrate Pride Month and throughout the year.”

Target will be removing select items from both its physical U.S. stores and online. Other merchandise, including trans-inclusive swimwear, has been moved to the back of stores and may be later removed completely.

Target has already gotten rid of some items that were previously listed online, including a sweater that read “cure transphobia not trans people,” and a fanny pack that reads “we belong everywhere.”

These items were removed because they were made by queer designer Abprallen, who also has a design showing baphomet that says “Satan respects pronouns” that was not sold in Target.

Other items that have drawn attacks from conservatives include a tucking swimsuit that lets trans women who haven’t had surgery enjoy their time on the beach or at a pool, and compression tops to help trans people feel comfortable in their bodies. As of this writing, those items are still available online.

“Anti-LGBTQ violence and hate should not be winning in America, but it will continue to until corporate leaders step up as heroes for their LGBTQ employees and consumers and do not cave to fringe activists calling for censorship,” GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said in a statement to ABC News. “The fact that a small group of extremists are threatening disgusting and harsh violence in response to Target continuing its long-standing tradition of offering products for everyone should be a wake-up call for consumers and is a reminder that LGBTQ+ people, venues, and events are being attacked with threats and violence like never before. An avalanche of research shows that Americans are comfortable seeing LGBTQ+ people in ads and marketing and that consumers, especially younger ones, prefer companies that include LGBTQ+ people internally and externally.”

Dr. David J. Johns, the executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition also spoke out against the move.

“Let’s be clear: removing items from its Pride Collection, or hiding them in the back of the store - is tantamount to insisting we all go back in the closet. At a time when LGBTQ+ rights and people are under attack, at a time when extremist political forces want to exterminate us, pushing our diverse history, experiences, and ways of being into the shadows - we need everyone to speak out for us - including major corporations like Target, and Budweiser,” he said in a statement.

“This pride, Target, like hundreds of other major companies will declare their support to the LGBTQ+ community, switch their logos to rainbow colors, drape everything in pride flags, and sell a range of products specifically designed to boost their bottom lines. They will do this because the vast majority of the American people support LGBTQ+ rights,” he continued. “But you can’t have it both ways. You can’t only support human rights where you are ‘safe’ from confrontation. Shame on Target.”

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Mey Rude

Mey Rude is a journalist and cultural critic who has been covering queer news for a decade. The transgender, Latina lesbian lives in Los Angeles with her fiancée.

Mey Rude is a journalist and cultural critic who has been covering queer news for a decade. The transgender, Latina lesbian lives in Los Angeles with her fiancée.