(OPINION) Target said this year’s Pride collection led to an increase in confrontations between customers and employees and incidents of Pride merchandise being thrown on the floor.
In messages on the website and Etsy store for Abprallen, Carnell said the volume of orders was such that he had to temporarily stop taking new orders.
“Your support during this extremely difficult time means more than I can express,” Carnell wrote on the brand’s Etsy page, which advertises “Accessories for the loud, proud, and colorful”. Abprallen, which means “ricochet” in German, is Carnell’s favorite word.
Screenshots and posts on social media show that Target previously sold three Abprallen items: a $25 slogan sweater with the words “cure transphobia, not trans people”, an $18 “too queer for here” tote bag, and a “we belong everywhere” fanny pack.
London-based Carnell, a gay trans man, said on Instagram that he did not know if Target would begin selling the items again and that he would know more over the coming days.
“I hope that none of Target’s retail employees are the victims of further threats and that none of them come to any harm,” he wrote. Backlash on social media was mainly targeted at Abprallen products that were not sold at Target, some of which contain images of pentagrams and horned ram skulls that some people associate with Satan worship.
Products sold on Abprallen’s Etsy shop included a pin featuring the slogan “Satan Respects Pronouns” for 5.20 pounds ($6.56), and an 8 pound ($10.10) enamel pin with the slogan “Trans Healthcare Now”.
“I am, believe it or not, not a Satanist,” Carnell said on Instagram, responding to reports and social media posts that labeled him as “Satan-loving”. Check out this article from Yahoo News, and the language they are using to describe Target’s decision in removing the attire from their stores.
“Predictably bigots are ruining things again”. In a pattern that feels all too familiar, Target is yanking their Pride collection off of shelves nationwide in response to anti-LGBTQ+ backlash and threats leveled at employees.
But the artist behind the most unique Pride designs the shopping behemoth has ever offered has yet to get an explanation from the store as to why his art has been pulled.
Trans artist Erik Carnell’s designs are the ones causing the biggest uproar from right-wing extremists. They’re featured on three products, an adult shirt that reads “Cure transphobia, not trans people,” a bag with an image of a spaceship and a rainbow that says “too queer for here,” and a fanny pack with the words “We belong here.”
So if you don’t agree with transgender attire for children being sold at major retailers you are a “bigot” and a “right-wing extremists”