Target is altering its Pride 2023 collection’s displays and availability following backlash ahead of Pride Month.
In May 2023, the retailer introduced its genderless Pride 2023 collection celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community ahead of Pride Month in June. The line’s range of graphic and multicolored casual clothing, shoes and home goods, however, has faced a range of altercations upon release.
“Since introducing this year’s collection, we’ve experienced threats impacting our team members’ sense of safety and well-being while at work,” a statement from the brand read, according to AP News. “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.”
On Tuesday, the brand also revealed that some stores found customers knocking over Pride 2023 displays, directing anger at employees and posting threatening videos on social media while in-store; the most aggression appeared directed over private part-concealing swimwear made for transgender women who have not currently received their gender-affirming surgeries.
Particularly in Southern states, the merchandise has been moved to the back of some stores following confrontations in the region.
The brand’s Pride line has arrived during a moment of intense national backlash towards the LGBTQIA+ community, particularly the transgender community. Notable incidents include the online controversy over Kate Spade New York and Bud Light’s recent campaigns starring transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney, as well as a record number of over 400 anti-LGBTQIA+ bills presented to state legislatures since January.
The retailer is the latest label to release a collection for Pride Month this year, in addition to brands including Calvin Klein, Coach, Teva and Sperry.