Now that Target has rolled out its Pride apparel collection for 2023, various anti-LGBTQ+ people have rolled into stores with their camera phones to reveal just how “out of control” the retailer’s “grooming” of children is.
These adults are horrified by the rainbow-colored baby onesies and swimsuits that are apparently indoctrinating children into the LGBTQ+ lifestyle. So horrified, in fact, that they’re willing to give Target free advertising on their social media accounts.
Of course, there’s nothing particularly scandalous about Target’s Pride clothing. It mostly features designs from LGBTQ+ creators with rainbows and cartoons on t-shirts, socks, and athletic items. But when you’re this hateful, even the most innocuous item of clothing can seem like proof of a sinister agenda.
The worst offender for this sort of video is Ethan Schmidt, an Arizona-based MAGA chud who spent his last summer exposing Target’s “Satanic Pride shrines for children” (that is, its Pride displays). Looks like this summer is shaping up to be a repeat of 2022 for Mr. Schmidt.
In his latest exposé, Schmidt holds up a kids’ shirt that says “Pride Pride Pride,” and explains, “This is pedophilia.” When he asks two random women if they support it, one explains that she doesn’t want to be recorded and the other threatens to call the cops. He calls them “super trigger liberals” because they’re understandably disturbed by a strange man discussing pedophilia while carrying around children’s clothing.
Schmidt then wanders past the mouthwash, shows a man the shirt and asks, “But isn’t it pedophilia?” The man says, “I don’t think so.”
“They are trying to sexualize kids,” Schmidt adds. Last summer, Schmidt got kicked out of a PetSmart for saying the rainbow flag “sexualizes kids.”
In another video, Alison Steinberg, an anchor with the far-right media outlet One America News, says that the Pride section at Target is actually “worse than I ever imagined.” She points to the availability of swimsuits as proof that its sales are “not doing too well.” She then points to pink and blue trans flag socks as “just out of control.”
But she’s not only mad that kids are being sold swimsuits and socks. She then wanders over to the card section where she acts outraged over adults being sold greeting cards celebrating same-sex parents and weddings. She disingenuously claims that are more cards celebrating same-sex parents than “regular parents.”
“This is completely out of control,” she repeats.
In her video, concern troll @goddess_dompo writes, “Pushing the agenda to make our boys look like girls against our will is just sick.” To make her point, she skips the Pride section entirely and asks an employee where the boys’ section is. She then feigns surprise when she discovers that the boys’ section contains shirts with images of rainbows, purple-colored bugs, and polka-dotted sharks.
“You gotta be kidding me,” she says as she pans over colorful button-up shirts and green drawstrings pants with pink and lavender bugs embroidered on the legs. She is in apparent disbelief that the boys’ section sells pink shorts, t-shirts, and shirts with bunnies on them.
“If this isn’t an agenda, I don’t know what is,” she says. “This is sick.” She then ends the video by expressing disgust at a green printed boys’ shirt that matches a girl’s dress made out of the same fabric.
“So you can look like your sister,” she says. “Disgusting.”
In another video, a woman says she’s going to see if Target is putting “weird, creepy, uncomfy stuff on children’s clothing.” Her camera pans across the Pride section, capturing a shirt that has the word “queer” printed three times upon it and some baby onesies that have rainbows and hearts on them.
She points out “This is the child’s section” before displaying greeting cards that read, “Glad you came out,” and “I’m so happy that you’re queer,” and exclaiming “In the kids’ section — are you kidding me??!” She apparently doesn’t realize that some kids support their friends and family members coming out.
“I’m sorry, but ‘Pride’ and ‘toddler’ don’t belong in the same sentence,” she declares.
She gets particularly outraged over a clothing label that reads, “Thoughtfully fit on multiple body types and gender expressions,” and swimsuits that proclaim a “‘binding effect’ on the chest” and a “tuck-friendly construction” in the crotch.
“If that doesn’t give you a reason to boycott Target, I don’t know what does, but this sh*t is getting out of hand,” she says. “They’re targeting children whether you like it or not.”
She says if people don’t “do something about it” then trans-inclusive children’s fashions may one day be inside of every store.
The “tuck-friendly” bathing suits are particularly concerning to others as well. One TikTok user @sarabruin0 says, “So, if you need a woman’s bathing suit and you have a little extra meat down there that you’ve got to hide…. it’s in the Pride section.”
To her credit, she points out that the bathing suit is only available in the Pride section and not in the other kids’ clothing sections.
A woman from the anti-LGBTQ+ “young conservatives” group Turning Point USA also disapproves of the tucking swimsuit as well as the pink sweatshirt that says “Live, Laugh, Lesbian.” The woman is so bothered by the tucking bathing suit that she mentions it at both the start and end of her video.
She then shows a shirt with a clear drawing of people on it and asks “Are these amoebas? These don’t even look like people.” They don’t look like amoebas.
She then holds up two baby onesies that have cartoons and rainbows on them and says, “They say that grooming isn’t happening, but why are there Pride baby onesies?” In her mind, Target can’t possibly want queer parents to spend money on fun and inclusive baby clothes. No, it can only be child sex abuse.
She then complains about a shirt that says, “Trans people will always exist,” not for its message — which is 100% true — but because it’s the ugliest shirt she has ever seen. When she sees a rainbow-colored skirt, she assumes it must be clothing for kids to wear at a Pride parade rather than just something for kids who like rainbows.
“Honestly, Target. What is going on? This is pretty disgusting.”
In a video from TikTok user @phillysnapshot, a woman decides that Target “needs a Bud Light lesson 101.” She displays a book called “My Queer Year” which is a journal and planner that gets children to reflect on values like honesty and balance.
She then points out that shoppers will barely walk “10 steps” into the store before they’re greeted by a Pride display “for your children to see.”
To teach Target a lesson, she then asks an employee “where the straight section is” for shirts that say “straight pride,” “hetero as heck,” and “super cis.”
“You have gay clothes, but do you have, like, straight clothes?” she asks. When a manager comes over, he tells the women not to record him. When her friend refuses to stop recording, the manager walks away while the woman recording says, “It’s the indoctrination of kids, and you’re behind it.”
The woman ends the video by stating that the manager has refused to talk to her “at least five or six times now.”
@phillysnapshot’s video apparently caught the attention of self-described “gay conservative” Twitter user @conservativ3ant.
He tells the LGBTQ+ “community” (which he places in ironic air quotes) that big box stores are making LGBTQ+ people “look bad” by allowing them to profit off of us for one month out of each year.
“Children don’t need to wear your sexual preference. See what I mean? This is why I chose to leave this commun-titty,” he adds, badly imitating drag queen speak.
One of the most outlandish videos simply involves a man pretending to be a child who misreads all of the shirts — mistaking “queer” for “queen” and “trans” for “trains” — and then suggests buying a Pride music album and rainbow sandals to enjoy with his parents.
Oddly, by pretending to be interested in these items, he mimics reactions that actual queer kids might have when seeing LGBTQ+ inclusive store items and doesn’t show anything particularly wrong with the items.