‘Volatile Circumstances’: Target Removes Some LGBTQ Displays Over Backlash, Spox Says

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Retail giant Target is removing some of the LGBTQ-themed items from its stores amid backlash over apparel catering to children and trans-individuals, a spokesperson for the company says.

Citing concern for its employees’ safety, Target has opted to remove certain LGBTQ items that have allegedly garnered the most negative attention in recent weeks, Reuters reported. “Since introducing this year’s collection, we’ve experienced threats impacting our team members’ sense of safety and wellbeing while at work,” the retail company said in a statement May 23.

Confrontations between customers and Target employees over the merchandise have been reported with incidents of Pride collection items being thrown on the floor, Target spokesperson Kayla Castaneda told Reuters.

“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,” Target’s statement continued. (RELATED: ‘Great Thing For Our Brand’: Target CEO Goes Out On A Limb For Trans-Friendly Clothes As Bud Light Gets Nuked)

Prior to the backlash, the retailer offered more than 2,000 products in its Pride collection ranging from books and home furnishings to clothing items for children and adults, according to Reuters. While many of these products are currently under review, the only items that have been removed at the time of writing are from the U.K.-based LGBTQ brand Abprallen due to its association with designer Eric “Erik” Carnell, the outlet reported.

Carnell, a transgender man who owns the brand, has designed LGBTQ-friendly products that have allegedly garnered significant backlash, with Twitter posts saying the retail giant previously sold t-shirts with the slogan “Satan Respects Pronouns.” Some designs on Abprallen’s website feature phrasing such as “Witches and Wizards love Trans people” and “Burn Down the Cis-Tem.”

LGBTQ products aimed towards children have also come under scrutiny, such as a book entitled “Bye Bye, Binary” and onesies for newborns with rainbows and hearts in the color of the transgender pride flag. Target was additionally slammed for offering a “tuck-friendly” swimsuit, designed with “extra crotch coverage” for men identifying as women.

Comedian Chrissie Mayr said of the suit during a visit to the store,“Thanks to [Target] I found the perfect swimsuit for creeping out all the women and children at the pool this summer. Can’t wait to tuck my cock into this little number while sipping a Bud Light!”

Though Target has celebrated Pride month each June for nearly a decade with prominent displays of LGBTQ merchandise apparently near the front of its stores, the backlash in 2023 has prompted several Southern stores to relocate the displays from the front to the back, the Associated Press reported.