Target pulls some LGBTQ+ merchandise released for Pride month from stores after backlash with customers
“Since launching this year’s collection, we have experienced threats that affect the safety and well-being of our team members while on the job,” Target said in a statement to USA TODAY. “Given these volatile circumstances, we are making changes to our plans, including removing items at the center of the most significant collision behavior.”
Items that have drawn negative attention include “tuck friendly” women’s swimwear, which allows trans women who do not perform gender-affirming activities to cover their male genitalia. Target does not specify which items it removes.
Fox News reported on Tuesday Some Target stores in the mostly rural South sought to avoid a “Bud Light situation” by relocating some Pride merchandise after conservatives complained that Dylan Mulvaney, a transgender influencer, was featured in an ad campaign that marked a backlash against parent company Anheuser-Busch.
Target has been celebrating Pride month for a decade with a variety of clothing, books and decorations. The products have been on sale since early May. Pride Month takes place in June.
Several videos falsely claim that Target sells “duck friendly” swimwear for children or in children’s sizes.
The backlash comes at a divisive moment for trans rights.
Hundreds of bills targeting LGBTQ+ people — particularly transgender people — have been introduced by Republican lawmakers in statehouses across the country, seeking to restrict what bathrooms they can use, what medical care they can receive and which sports teams they can play on.
“Our focus now is on moving forward with our continued commitment to the LGBTQIA+ community and standing with them as they celebrate Pride Month throughout the year,” Target said in a statement.