Target Pride Collection 2023: Some LGBTQ Merchandise REMOVED From Stores Before June Pride After Threats Against Workers

Wednesday, May 24, 2023 2:50 a.m.

NEW YORK — Target is removing some items from its stores and making other changes to its nationwide LGBTQ merchandise ahead of Pride Month, after an intense backlash from some customers, including violent confrontations with its employees.

“Since introducing this year’s collection, we have experienced threats affecting our team members’ sense of safety and well-being at work,” Target said in a statement Tuesday. “Given these volatile circumstances, we are making adjustments to our plans, including removing elements that have been at the center of the most significant confrontational behaviors.”

Target declined to say which items it was removing, but among those that got the most attention were “tuck friendly” women’s swimwear that allows trans women who haven’t had surgeries to affirmation to conceal their private parts. The designs of Abprallen, a London-based company that designs and sells occult and Satanic-themed LGBTQ clothing and accessories, have also created backlash.

Pride merchandise has been on sale since early May. Pride month takes place in June.

Target confirmed it moved its Pride merchandise from the front of stores to the back of select stores in the South after clashes and backlash from shoppers in those areas.

Target’s Pride Month collection has also been the subject of several misleading videos in recent weeks, with social media users falsely claiming that the retailer sells “tuck-friendly” swimwear designed for children or in children’s sizes.

The moves come as beer brand Bud Light is still grappling with a backlash from customers angered by its attempt to expand its customer base by teaming up with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney. Bud Light’s parent company said it will triple its marketing spending in the United States this summer as it tries to restore sales it lost after the brand teamed up with the transgender influencer.

Target and other retailers including Walmart and H&M has been developing its LGBTQ displays to celebrate Pride Month for about a decade. This year, transgender issues — including gender-affirming health care and sports participation — have been a divisive issue in state legislatures and the backlash has turned hostile.

Copyright © 2023 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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