NEW YORK (AP) — Target is pulling some items from its shelves and making other changes to its LGBTQ+ merchandise ahead of Pride month because of strong reactions from some customers, including violent confrontations with its employees.
“Since introducing this year’s collection, we have received threats that affect our team members’ safety and sense of well-being at work,” Target said in a statement Tuesday. “Given the volatile conditions, we are adjusting our plans and removing the items that most significantly incited offensive conduct.”
Target declined to say what items it was missing, but most notably were women’s “fold-over” swimsuits that allow trans women who have yet to be gender-affirming to hide their private parts. Operation not done. The design, by Abprallen, a London-based company that designs and sells Satanic-themed LGBTQ+ clothing and accessories, has also faced criticism.
Merchandise for Pride month, celebrated in June, has been on sale since early May.
Target confirmed that it has moved its Pride merchandise from the front to the back of its stores in some southern states due to customer backlash and aggression.
In recent weeks, Target’s Pride collection has been the subject of misleading videos in which social media users falsely claim that the store sells children’s “pleat” swimsuits or in children’s sizes.
Target, Walmart, H&M and other retailers have expanded their displays of LGBTQ+ merchandise to celebrate Pride Month for a decade. This year, transgender issues such as health care and sports participation caused angry discussions in state legislatures and a hostile response from the public.