EXCLUSIVE – Leaders of LGBTQ+ organizations wrecked Target Corporation for stuffing its pride merchandise into the back of its stores, and removing other items completely, saying its business decision caused even more damage to their community than if they hadn’t taken a stand at all.
“I’m not walking in a Target door if they’re not willing to stand by my side,” Colleen Condon, president of the Alliance for Full Acceptance, said. “And I know that many of our members believe that, as well as in organizations across the United States.”
“Do they not care about LGBT customers? I’m pretty sure Target wants to keep us, so we want to make sure they understand how important it is to LGBTQ advocacy organizations across the country.”
Fox News Digital spoke with organizations who signed onto a massive demand letter from Human Rights Campaign to Target Corporation; 200 signatories asked for an apology for insulting the LGBTQ+ community during Pride Month and for the retail giant to reinstate the items.
‘Just stay out of it… We don’t expect corporations to act like people. That’s something that they have decided to do in creating a persona.’
The board member of Queer Northshore, Jeremy Thompson, added, “Or just stay out of it. Like you don’t have to, we don’t expect corporations to act like people. That’s something that they have decided to do in creating a persona.”
Target backed down from its LGBTQ+ collection it placed in stores in celebration of Pride Month. (Mike Kemp/In Pictures via Getty Images)
Another activist leader, who signed the HRC letter, said Target’s walk-back of its outward LGBTQ+ support felt like being stuffed back “into a closet” and questioned whether the retail giant was using the marginalized community for profit.
“Target purports itself to be an organization that supports the LGBTQ community, and their response to bigotry and hate was to shove us into that corner rather than stand up against that,” Tesla Taliaferro of the Rainbow Rose Center said. “It’s disappointing to see that they feel like they can really effectively use our LGBTQ community while it’s convenient. But when it’s not convenient… then they suddenly dry out and disappear as far as their support goes.”
Target forced its employees to take pride merchandise and put it into the back of stores, which LGBTQ+ advocates told Fox News Digital must have been distressing for queer Target employees and/or those who had friends and families from the community.
Jason Champion, the president of Project Pride SRQ, said, “I am sure that within the pulling of the merchandise to the back of the store at this point, any employee or associate of Target is feeling like Rosa Parks, right? I don’t want to sit in the back of the bus.”
“Having your company come out [in support of Pride Month] and then turn around, and then you have the folks that are quite literally putting it back in the closet, probably hurts a lot,” said Raymond Lancione, the CEO of Qweerty Gamers.
Target Pride merchandise includes “Gender Fluid” mugs and “Grown At Your Own Pace” saucer planters. (Brian Flood/Fox News)
“There are many, many, many community artists out there, people that do wonderful work, beautiful work. If they chose to go with a controversial artist that was a big mistake,” he said. “If you’re going to support the community, you support the community with class.”
Mark Ebenhoch of the Sacred Cloth Project said Target doesn’t have “the cojones” to stand up for the cause it originally claimed to support and added “many of the LGBTQ community and allies and other people are very upset with the store. They may walk with their pocketbook.”
“[Target] opened the door and therefore they are now responsible for what happens thereafter. If Target didn’t say anything, and they didn’t want to get into the spite, we wouldn’t be having this conversation,” said Lancione of Qweerty Gamers.
He continued, “There are a lot of folks who are being misled… [LGBTQ+ individuals] contribute to society. We have jobs. We have businesses. We have families. And I think we’ve forgotten that we can exist in this country and disagree and be in harmony. And that that’s the important thing here.”
Target partnered with GLSEN, a K-12 education group that focuses on getting districts to adopt policies that will keep parents in the dark about their child’s in-school gender transition, providing sexually explicit books and integrating gender ideology at all levels of curricula in public schools. (Brian Flood/Fox News Digital)
He went onto say that violence and infringing on the rights of others are never the answers to disagreements.
“If you see something there that you don’t like, don’t buy it, don’t watch it. That’s your right. But when you start infringing on the rights of others, you are now in the wrong,” he said.
The HRC letter demanded Target “release a public statement in the next 24 hours reaffirming their commitment to the LGBTQ+ community.”
Since Fox News Digital exposed how Target was moving its pride collection to the back of its stores, the retail giant has not released a statement.