Target is removing some LGBTQ merchandise from stores ahead of June Pride after threats to workers

NEW YORK (AP) — Ahead of Pride month, Target is removing some items from its stores and making other changes to its LGBTQ merchandise nationwide after fierce backlash from some customers, including violent confrontations with its workers.

“Since launching this year’s collection, we have experienced threats affecting the safety and well-being of our team members while at work,” Target said in a statement on Tuesday. “Given these volatile circumstances, we are making changes to our plans, including removing items at the center of the most significant collision behavior.”

Target declined to say which items it was removing, but the most attention-grabbing was “tuck friendly” women’s swimwear, which allows trans people without gender-affirming activities to cover their private parts. Designed by RicochetThe London-based company, which designs and sells LGBTQ clothing and accessories with occult and satanic backgrounds, has created a backlash.

Bright products have been on sale since early May. Pride Month takes place in June.

Target confirmed that it had moved its Pride merchandise from the front of the stores to the back of the stores in some southern stores after confrontations and backlash from shoppers in those areas.

Target’s Pride month collection has been the subject of several misleading videos In recent weeks, social media users falsely claimed the retailer was selling “duck-friendly” bathing suits designed for children or in children’s sizes.

The moves come as beer brand Bud Light is still struggling with a backlash from angry customers over its efforts to expand its customer base. Partnering with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney. Bud Light’s parent company has said it will triple its marketing efforts It’s spending in the US this summer as the brand tries to recover lost sales after partnering with transgender influencers.

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Target and other retailers, including Walmart and H&M, have been expanding their LGBTQ displays to celebrate Pride month for about a decade. Transgender issues this year — including gender-affirming health care and participation in sports — have been a divisive topic in state legislatures and turned into backlash.

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