Target has removed items designed by a self-professing transgender Satanist and moved LGBTQ displays to the back of some stores after calls for a boycott continued to grow.
Several items previously sold by Target were designed by and sold under the brand Abprallen, a London-based company led by a self-identified “gay trans man” who goes by Erik.
In now-deleted offerings, Target sold a pink sweatshirt that read, “Cure Transphobia, Not Trans People,” and another was a tote bag with a flying saucer and the words “Too Queer for Here.”
In a statement explaining the removal of certain LGBTQ-themed products, Target claimed, “Since introducing this year’s collection, we’ve experienced threats impacting our team members’ sense of safety and wellbeing while at work,” per Reuters.
“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,” the statement continued.
A review of Abprallen’s other products shows a predilection for Satanism and threats of violence against those who do not support LGBTQ identities. Following increased scrutiny, Abprallen began to purge its social media page, deleting many of its posts.
One Abprallen design depicted Satan with the claim, “Satan respects pronouns.” The caption said, “Satan loves you and respects who you are. … LGBT+ people are so often referred to as being a product of Satan or going against God’s will, so fine. We’ll hang with Satan instead.”
It goes on to claim, however, “Satanists don’t actually believe in Satan, he is merely used as a symbol of passion, pride, and liberty. He means to you what you need him to mean. So for me, Satan is hope, compassion, equality, and love.”
“So, naturally, Satan respects pronouns,” the post continues. “He loves all LGBT+ people.”
On a t-shirt bearing the same image, the post similarly claimed, “Satan respects pronouns and he loves who you are. Satan accepts people of all, several, and no genders, he appreciates gender non-conformity, he loves trans and non-binary people.”
“Hail yourself,” it concludes.
Abprallen’s Instagram profile is filled with various other product images and messages.
A now-deleted post provided “examples of gender-neutral bathrooms in the UK,” which includes Margaret Thatcher’s grave and statues of Winston Churchill, Christopher Columbus, and Francis Drake.
Many pins include messages such as “join my gay cult,” “transsexual menace,” “burn down the cis-tem,” and “time’s up for transphobes.”
Other pins appear to encourage violence. One depicts a guillotine with the accompanying phrase “Homophobe headrest,” and “fight for trans rights,” which includes two crossed axes.
Another pin shows a heart-shaped mace with a banner reading, “we bash back.” The caption explains, “Gay-bashing, lesbian-bashing, trans-bashing, queer-bashing are all far too prevalent in this word.”
“Some might say to turn the other cheek, but others would advice [sic] to bash back – and if you’re gonna do that, why not do it with a heart-shaped pastel coloured mace?”
Target’s support of the Satanist design has invigorated those calling for a boycott, as reported by The Dallas Express.
Sara Gonzales, a local political commentator, said, “Target has made a decision to reject you, their average customer, in favor of a trans-Satanist partnership indoctrinating your children. Question is: what are you willing to do about it?”
Political show host Mercedes Schlapp similarly said, “All Christians and religious [people] need to boycott Target. We need to send a message to these woke companies that choose evil as their marketing tactic.
“It’s just sick,” she added.
Target has been a vocal supporter of LGBTQ issues and boasts, “For 10 years, Target has offered exclusive Pride merchandise … We also celebrate Pride Month with a marketing campaign that was created to inspire feelings of solidarity and empathy with the LGBTQIA+ community.”
“Our marketing celebrates the intersectionality of identities and interests, while creating and contributing to affirming spaces,” the corporation continued.
Abprallen explained the partnership with Target saying, “When they approached me to design a range for Pride I realized I had an opportunity to create something huge, I was given a chance to make work that would be seen by countless people.”
The brand specifically highlighted its desire to reach children, adding, “I wanted to ensure that any young person who saw Abprallen in Target would know that who they are is beautiful, purposeful, and worth expressing.”
“I wanted to create a range that would embrace younger me,” the post declared.
However, the designer went on to note, “These have already got the transphobes infuriated with me and I feel like quite the celebrity to think that they believe this is all some big conspiracy and I have any power to brainwash anyone when I’m just some guy drawing pictures!”
Target CEO Brian Cornell had previously brushed off the boycott calls, saying, “When we think about purpose at Target, it’s really about helping all the families, and that ‘all’ word is really important,” per Business Insider.
“I think those are just good business decisions, and it’s the right thing for society and it’s the great thing for our brand,” he continued. “The things we’ve done from a DE&I standpoint, it’s adding value. … It’s helping us drive sales.”
However, a Target whistleblower reportedly told Fox News that Southern stores have decided to move the LGBTQ section to the back of the store after an emergency meeting.
The anonymous employee told Fox, “We were given 36 hours, told to take all of our Pride stuff, the entire section, and move it into a section that’s a third the size. From the front of the store to the back of the store, you can’t have anything on mannequins and no large signage. … I think given the current situation with Bud Light, the company is terrified of a Bud Light situation.”