Target has been a leader in pro-LGBT activism for years now. They offer Pride merchandise, and have partnered with companies like TomboyX.
But recently, they’ve gotten some backlash for their new gender neutral clothing line. Featuring designs from popular app company Toca Boca, the new collection is designed to be gender neutral for kids.
While some companies may have rushed to capitalize on the trend, others have done it with more thought. This is especially true of Target, which has been working toward gender-neutral options for kids’ clothes for years. The company has gotten rid of its pink and blue toy aisles, removed gender labels from its bedding sections, and even added family restrooms in many locations.
Despite these efforts, some have called for a boycott of the company’s new line. One of the most vocal critics has been the activist group Gays Against Groomers, which claims that the clothing line is indoctrinating children with LGBTQ ideology.
Other critics have pointed out that the clothing line is designed by Erik Abprallen, a Satanist who designs pieces featuring this goat-head demon and other symbols associated with witchcraft and the occult. Some have even compared the clothing line to Bud Light’s backlash over their ad campaign featuring a trans influencer, which has led to thousands of Twitter users pledging to boycott the company.
For a decade, Target has offered merchandise that coincides with Pride, the annual LGBTQ-themed celebration that takes place throughout June. But the retailer sparked a backlash this year with its Pride collection, which included trans-friendly children’s clothing and a lime green adult romper suit that read “Gay is OK.” Customers confronted employees and knocked down Pride displays, and many threatened to boycott Target.
The backlash came as states passed laws restricting bathroom access and other medical care for transgender people. Target executives on Wednesday acknowledged that the controversy ate into foot traffic and sales, though they declined to quantify the financial hit.
The company also faces headwinds from a shifting consumer base, as Gen Z shoppers increasingly reject gender stereotypes. A survey by student affinity network Unidays found that 61% of Gen Z thinks brands could do more to prove that “style should not have a gender.” The new Target line aims to break down boundaries by allowing kids to choose their own styles, with toys like unicorns and rainbow-colored robots.
Especially for young kids, gender-neutral clothing is a good idea because it encourages them to be creative with their style and express themselves without being limited by imposed rules and stereotypes. It’s also good for the environment because it means less waste and more reuse.
However, some people have criticized Target for their new line of gender-neutral children’s clothes by accusing them of indoctrinating their children with LGBTQ ideology and urging them to boycott the company. The backlash has been similar to the one Bud Light faced after partnering with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney.
Despite this, many people are supportive of Target’s new line, including nonbinary shoppers. In fact, a recent study by student affinity network Unidays found that 61% of Gen Z thinks that brands could do more to prove that “style shouldn’t have a gender.” And with companies like Free to Be Kids, Jessy & Jack and Muttonhead already offering a variety of gender-neutral products, it seems as though Target is following suit.
As more and more people embrace nonbinary identities, gender-neutral fashion is a natural next step. However, launching a line of kids’ clothing without explicitly labeling it as either “girls” or “boys” can spark controversy.
For instance, a transphobic group called Gays Against Groomers has already launched a boycott campaign against Target over the new line of children’s clothes. The campaign argues that the company’s new gender-neutral clothes will indoctrinate children with LGBTQ ideology.
Fortunately, many companies are navigating the gender-neutral fashion landscape with grace and sensitivity. In fact, many of the brands featured in this article are thriving in the gender-neutral world by offering stylish, edgy, and comfortable clothing that appeals to all kids. They’re also empowering customers by providing them with the freedom to choose their own style. And, since kids grow incredibly fast, purchasing gender-neutral clothing can save parents money and time in the long run. And, a gender-neutral wardrobe supports the environment by using less energy and materials to produce each item.