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Target Moves Pride Merchandise to Back of Stores in Some Southern States

A spokesperson for Target Corporation confirmed that in some of its locations in semi-rural areas of Georgia, South Carolina and Arkansas have moved Pride merchandise from the front of the stores to backroom areas or deeper into the stores after confrontations and backlash from shoppers.

A source with a Target in Savannah, Ga., who asked not to be identified told the Washington Blade some of those confrontations resulted in displays being knocked over and harsh words exchanged with store retail staff.

Target’s Pride Collection, which was displayed for sale starting on May 1, is comprised of more than 2,000 products, including clothing, books, music and home furnishings. Items include “gender fluid” mugs, “queer all year” calendars and books for children aged 2-8 titled “Bye Bye, Binary,” “Pride 1,2,3” and “I’m not a girl.”

Speaking for the Minneapolis-based retail giant, spokesperson Kayla Castañeda noted: “Since introducing this year’s collection, we’ve experienced threats impacting our team members’ sense of safety and wellbeing while at work. 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.”

Castaneda related that the company has been celebrating Pride Month for over 10 years, but this year the increased opposition and hostility gave the company pause and led to a decision to pull some of the Pride merchandise.

Jonathan Richie, a senior staff writer for the Dallas Express reported on May 13:

Some groups have denounced the inclusion of LGBTQ apparel for children as inappropriate and an example of corporate propaganda.

Conservative non-profit group Consumers’ Research warned that “parents may need to cover their kid’s eyes next time they’re strolling through their local Target.”

“The retail store just released a new line of LGBTQ+ merchandise geared toward children and even babies,” the activist group said. “This follows longstanding efforts by Target to indoctrinate kids via books titled, ‘Are You a Boy or Are You a Girl?,’ ‘The Hips on the Drag Queen Go Swish, Swish, Swish,’ ‘I’m Not a Girl,’ and more.”

Gays Against Groomers, a controversial anti-trans group, tweeted:

Speaking with Reuters, Castañeda said the products Target is withdrawing are being removed from all its U.S. stores and from its website.

While various Pride Collection products are under review, the only ones now being removed are the LGBTQ brand Abprallen, which has come under scrutiny for its association with British designer Eric Carnell. Carnell has faced social media backlash for designing merchandise with images of pentagrams, horned skulls and other Satanic products.

Even in cities like Savannah, which tend to be more progressive in terms of political issues, the source told the Blade that store managers were moving Pride displays to less conspicuous areas to stave off some of the nasty confrontations that has occurred in other stores in Georgia.

Story courtesy of the Washington Blade via the National LGBTQ Media Association. The National LGBTQ Media Association represents 13 legacy publications in major markets across the country with a collective readership of more than 400K in print and more than 1 million + online. Learn more here: https://nationallgbtmediaassociation.com/