Target Adjusts LGBTQ+ Merchandise Amid Backlash and Safety Concerns
Target, a major retail corporation, has recently made the decision to remove certain items from its stores and adjust its LGBTQ+ merchandise nationwide. This move comes in response to a wave of backlash from some customers, which escalated to confrontations with staff and the tipping over of displays. The company has stated that these incidents have impacted the safety and well-being of its team members.
The backlash has been particularly focused on certain items, including “tuck friendly” women’s swimsuits designed for trans women who have not undergone gender-affirming surgeries, and designs by Abprallen, a London-based company known for its occult- and satanic-themed LGBTQ+ clothing and accessories. These items have been at the center of the most confrontational behavior, leading to their removal.
The Pride merchandise, which has been on sale since early May, has also been moved from the front to the back of some stores in Southern regions, following confrontations and backlash from shoppers in these areas. This adjustment comes as state legislatures are introducing a record number of bills targeting LGBTQ+ individuals, with close to 500 anti-LGBTQ+ bills having been presented since the start of the year.
Misleading videos have also circulated on social media, falsely claiming that Target is selling “tuck-friendly” bathing suits designed for children. This misinformation has added to the controversy surrounding Target’s Pride month collection.
The backlash against LGBTQ+ support is not limited to Target. Bud Light, for instance, is still dealing with customer backlash after partnering with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney in an attempt to broaden its customer base.
Retailers like Target, Walmart, and H&M have been expanding their LGBTQ+ displays to celebrate Pride month for about a decade. However, this year, transgender issues, including gender-affirming healthcare and participation in sports, have become a divisive topic in state legislatures, leading to a hostile backlash.