WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — June is Pride Month, a celebration of the LGBTQ+ community, but this year major corporations are at the center of a culture clash over whether to support the cause. Some companies have been in the spotlight, facing calls for boycotts from groups.
Target has been selling their Pride Month collection for about a month. The collection includes T-shirts and sweatshirts, even "tuck-friendly bathing suits" that allow trans people who have not had gender-affirming surgery to conceal their private parts.
"I absolutely love it," shopper Julie Sikorsky said. "I'm an ally, and I think it's wonderful."
Some shoppers said they were prideful with what they're seeing this year.
"Actually, every time I'm in Target I pick it up and I always say, 'God, I love a lot of this stuff,'" said shopper Kathleen Gaal-Bottoms.
But with the start of Pride Month, others think this year's collection is too controversial.
"They're just pushing it in everybody's faces. That's just my opinion," shopper Damian Basile said. "They should take the politics out of it and just do what they do. The only reason I'm coming here is because it's closer to my home. Other than that, I would not be shopping here."
Target is now pulling some Pride Month merchandise off of store shelves.
The company released the following statement regarding the controversy:
"For more than a decade, Target has offered an assortment of products aimed at celebrating Pride Month. Since introducing this year's collection, we've experienced threats impacting our team members' sense of safety and well-being while at work. 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. Our focus now is on moving forward with our continuing commitment to the LGBTQIA+ community and standing with them as we celebrate Pride Month and throughout the year."
Anheuser-Busch has also been under attack. This arose after the beer brand partnered with a transgender actress and activist for a Bud Light campaign.
Chief executive Brendan Whitworth posted a message on the company's Twitter account saying: "We never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people. We are in the business of bringing people together."
Recently across the country, customers have become more motivated to engage in confrontational behavior.
Now, across the country, customers have become more motivated to engage in confrontational behavior, impacting local organizations.
Transpire Help, a local organization, founder Donna Weinberger said she is disappointed by some people's reactions to the company's marketing strategies.
"You see these situations where companies like Target and Budweiser have started to cave, and it's sad for us to see," Weinberger said. "We really are hoping that we can see some companies that will rise to the occasion and continue to support our community."
Weinberger now hopes for a shift in support across the country while these major corporations try to open the dialogue and continue their commitments.