Target Faces Backlash and Threats from Right-Wing Customers Leading Up to Pride Month

Target, the major American retailer, has faced backlash and threats from right-wing customers leading up to Pride month, resulting in the removal of some LGBTQ+ themed items from shelves and moving displays honouring Pride month to the back of the store.[0] This year’s backlash has been more intense than previous years, with some customers knocking down Pride displays and posting threatening videos on social media.[0] Target has been celebrating Pride month for over a decade but this year, the company has experienced threats that have impacted their team members’ sense of safety and wellbeing while at work.[1] Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD, said that “Anti-LGBTQ violence and hate should not be winning in America, but it will continue to until corporate leaders step up as heroes for their LGBTQ employees and consumers and do not cave to fringe activists calling for censorship.”

This backlash comes at a time when Republican lawmakers in the US have introduced a record number of bills that seek to restrict basic freedoms and erase LGBTQ+ people.[2] These bills range from banning gender-affirming care for transgender teenagers to banning books that address LGBTQ+ issues to allowing employers, businesses, and hospitals to turn away LGBTQ+ people or refuse them equal treatment.[2]

Despite the backlash, Target has vowed to continue their commitment to the LGBTQ+ community.[3] However, LGBTQ+ organisations have called for Target to release a public statement reaffirming their commitment to the community, putting Pride merchandise back on the sales floor and online in full, and ensuring the safety of team members who are on the front lines.[2] Target has yet to respond to these calls.[2]

The history of LGBTQ+ Pride Month is rooted in the Stonewall Uprising of 1969 when LGBTQ+ individuals fought against harassment and violence from law enforcement.[4] They were tired of being discriminated against and fought back against a police raid on New York’s Stonewall Inn, a popular gay bar.[5] A year later, parades commemorating the Stonewall riots took place in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles with thousands participating.[5]

In the face of ongoing threats and discrimination towards the LGBTQ+ community, it is important for companies like Target to stand by their values and continue to support and celebrate Pride month.

0. “Target loses $9B in week following boycott calls over LGBTQ-friendly kids clothing” New York Post , 25 May. 2023,

1. “Target Disappeared ‘ABC—Deconstructing Gender’ Book for Toddlers After Pride Furor” The Daily Beast, 27 May. 2023,

2. “Activists Urge Target and All Businesses to Push Back on Anti-LGBTQ+ Campaigns”, 27 May. 2023,

3. “Target Pride designer shuts down store due to huge demand” PinkNews, 26 May. 2023,

4. “Target Pride Month collection: Some LGBTQ+ products pulled over backlash” Axios, 24 May. 2023,

5. “The mistake Target made by removing Pride items” CNN, 25 May. 2023,