Twilight star Rachelle Lefevre criticized Target for moving a Pride display to the back of her local store amid backlash from anti-LGBTQ+ conservatives in an emotional video. The actor took to Instagram late last week to share her dismay, saying that she would not bring her nonbinary child back to the store during Pride month.
Last Thursday, Lefevre shared a video recorded at her local Target store, showing where the location’s Pride display had been previously.
If the recent anti-LGBTQ+ backlash wasn’t so disturbing, it would almost be… funny.
“I came in here two days ago, and my seven-year-old, who’s nonbinary, saw [the display] and said: ‘Look, mom, it’s Pride, look! They’re going to celebrate me!’” Lefevre said. “And because some people complained and threw some stuff to the ground or I don’t know what happened, they have moved their Pride section to the back of the store.”
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Since Target unveiled its 2023 Pride collection in early May, the retailer has been hit with a wave of criticism from anti-LGBTQ+ conservatives both online and in stores. Some have recorded their protests, posting the videos online and calling for a boycott of the chain. One designer who collaborated with the retailer on several of the products in this year’s collection has even reportedly been inundated with hateful messages on social media, including death threats.
As the U.K.’s Daily Mail notes, Lefevre didn’t specify the location of the store she visited, but the Canadian-born actor’s other posts indicate she is based in the Nashville, Tennessee area. Target locations in Southern states, including South Carolina, Arkansas, and Georgia, have reportedly relocated their Pride displays to the back of the stores and removed Pride apparel from mannequins to reduce their visibility.
Last week, the company released a statement announcing that it would be “making adjustments to our plans [for the Pride collection], including removing items that have been at the center of the most significant confrontational behavior.” Target said that the move was intended to ensure the safety of its in-store employees, who have faced harassment from protesters. Stores in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Utah have reportedly received bomb threats mentioning the Pride-themed merchandise.
Lefevre joins a chorus of LGBTQ+ people and allies in criticizing Target for caving to anti-LGBTQ+ extremists and accusing the company of performative allyship.
“Don’t anyone come back at me with ‘It was a security issue’ because this is a billion dollar company- if they really care, they can hire extra security,” she wrote in the caption to her post. “Instead they chose to send the message that LGBTQ+ people aren’t worth protecting or fighting for.”
In her video, Lefevre went on to say that she would not bring her seven-year-old child back to the store during the month of June, fearing the impact that seeing that the display had been removed would have on them. “They’re going to realize that [anti-LGBTQ+ bigots] are being successful in trying to erase them.”
“We could do so much better,” Lefevre added. “We’re not supposed to negotiate with terrorists.”
In a subsequent post, Lefevre addressed hateful comments in response to her initial post about Target. “To those of you who wrote hurtful, disgusting—you what you wrote, you know who you are- Boy, I was angry. And I punched back in a post… and about 90 seconds later I deleted it because something dawned on me.”
The actor went on to describe her own abusive upbringing. “I know how much pain you have to be in to hate that hard,” she said. “So instead of hating back, I just choose to know how much pain you’re in.”
“Whatever it is that you are numbing with hating other people, I want to say that when you can find the courage to face that pain, and you get rid of the anger, I hope there are people there who embrace you, I hope there are people there who can love you and hold space for you. And when you are ready to show up as your authentic self, the way God made you, full of love, I will be here to say ‘Hi, it’s nice to meet you.’”
“I’m sorry for whatever happened to you to make you susceptible to such lies and made your heart so hardened with hate, I truly am,” Lefevre wrote in an updated caption to her original post. “I suggest you use your precious life force to find joy and fill your days with more love and more joy because you clearly aren’t finding it here.”