Adding to its already serious woes, Target reportedly contracted with a self-identified gay, transgender, and Satanist individual named Erik to roll out new product lines via his clothing company in advance of “Pride Month.” One of the more provocative t-shirt designs includes the words: “Satan loves you and respects who you are; you’re important and valuable in this world and you deserve to treat yourself with love and respect. LGBT+ people are so often referred to as being a product of Satan or going against God’s will, so fine. We’ll hang with Satan instead.” Though this particular shirt is not currently being sold by Target, it is part of Erik’s larger collection.
Other items in this collection are stickers exhorting “burn down the cis-tem,” and “join my gay cult,” a sweatshirt with the message “cure transphobia not trans people,” a tote bag proclaiming “too queer for here,” and a messenger pack asserting “we belong everywhere.” Erik acknowledged that these provocative designs have incited anger among those harboring transphobic views. He also revealed that Target had approached his company Abprallen for this unique collaboration. Target has been committed to celebrating Pride month and has released annual Pride collections since 2012, reinforcing its stand for inclusivity and diversity.