Target is already facing boycotts for selling "tuck-friendly" bathing suits and LGBTQ onesies for babies. Now it has been revealed that Target is selling LGBTQ Pride products from a designer that appears to promote violence, drug use, and Satanism.
Target sells three items by the brand Abprallen – a "We Belong Everywhere" messenger bag, a 'Too Queer For Here" messenger bag, and a "Cure Transphobia, Not Trans People" shirt. The LGBTQ items are available on the Target website and in its stores.
Target describes all the products as: "All items were designed for all bodies, regardless of gender identity and presentation. We added design features to help make the fit customizable for you. Our hope is for all guests to find clothing that makes them feel comfortable and affirmed in their identity. We understand that fit is incredibly important and will continue to evolve and improve on fit needs for the LGBTQIA+ Community."
In the product descriptions, Target credits the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, and boasts of having over a 10-year partnership with GLSEN.
"GLSEN leads the movement in creating affirming, accessible and anti-racist spaces for LGBTQIA+ students," the retail behemoth glowingly said. "We are proud of 10+ years of collaboration with GLSEN and continue to support their mission."
According to the Abprallen website, the pro-LGBTQ company is based in London, and was founded by a "gay trans man."
The founder and designer of Abprallen is Erik Callen, according to TransLash – a website that is "building experiences to advance trans narratives, histories, healing, and – most importantly – the human rights of trans people."
A 2020 Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for Abprallen was created by Erik Callen.
Last week, Callen wrote about selling his LGBTQ products at Target.
Being able to sell my stuff in Target stores is incredibly exciting, knowing that people are seeing it without (necessarily)explicitly seeking LGBT-related stuff is wonderful, and I’m especially happy at the thought that young closeted people will see it, and I hope that in some way they’ll feel a bit more comfortable in themselves, as we all deserve to feel.
You can get the sweatshirt and the bags on the Target website or in stores.
Callen added, "These have already got the transphobes infuriated with me and I feel like quite the celebrity to think that they believe this is all some big conspiracy and I have any power to brainwash anyone when I’m just some guy drawing pictures!"
Callen claims that the word "groomer" is a "right-wing, transphobic word that is currently being used against trans people who stick up for trans youth in the same was it was used against gay people for sticking up for gay youth."
However, Callen confesses that he was groomed when he was young, and he will "likely be working through it for the rest of his life."
"When I was in my very early teens I was groomed and in an abusive 'relationship”/“friendship' with a person ten years older than me, this lasted until my early twenties," he said.
However, Callen's designs – nearly all feature the colors of the transgender flag – appear to promote violence, drug use, and Satanism.
There are designs that seem to call for violence, including a pin with two axes that reads: "Fight for trans rights." There is also a design with a guillotine with skulls near it that reads: "Homophobic headrest."
Abprallen sells a pin with a ball-and-chain flail weapon that says: "We Bash Back," and the Instagram caption reads:
Gay-bashing, lesbian-bashing, trans-bashing, queer-bashing are all far too prevalent in this world, from the comments shouted on the streets to the horrific violent crimes committed against LGBT+ people - sometimes there’s only one language those who harass us understand. Some might say to turn the other cheek, but others would advice to bash back - and if you’re gonna do that, why not do it with a heart-shaped pastel colored mace?
One design features a lit lighter with the words: "Burn down the cis-tem."
The artist that has products on Target wrote on Instagram, "The cis-tem is what keeps trans kids from feeling free to express their true selves - it makes the world dangerous for them to live in, it causes people to feel guilty for transitioning, it aims to ensure we stay in the rigid boxes set up at birth, it makes it harder for trans women to get jobs, housing, insurance, it tells non-binary people they don’t exist, it’s the reason trans women face both misogyny and transphobia in equal measure, it’s because of the cis-tem that trans men are erased and overlooked."
Callen declared, "We don’t need to restructure it, we need to burn it down and start up again in a system that doesn’t police gender or expression - a world that allows exploration, changing our minds, dressing how we want to, taking up the space we need, being treated as we deserve. We need to burn down the cis-tem and create a world where trans people don’t get to just live, but get to absolutely thrive."
The Abprallen Instagram account encourages transgender people to "Bite TERFs," which is a trans-exclusionary radical feminist. The design features a snake biting a human hand, and the Instagram caption reads: "Never trust a TERF, they’re not well-meaning, they don’t 'just care about (cis) women’s rights,' they do not have the right intentions. Avoid them when you can and bite them when you can’t."
Other slogans read: "Join My Gay Cult," "Transitioning Saves lives," "Heteronormativity is a Plague," "Binding Doesn't Make You Less of a Man," and "Trans Witches for Abortion."
Abprallen promotes drug use with a "Poppers open your third eye" pin. Poppers is slang for drugs known as amyl nitrites, that are popular for use during sex.
Abprallen also sells products that promote Satanism, including a T-shirt that reads: "Satan respects pronouns."
Callen proclaims, "Hail trans demons."
The Abprallen Instagram page states, "I went with a variation of Baphomet for this design, a deity who themself is a mixture of genders, beings, ideas, and existences. They reject binary stereotypes and expectations. Perfect."
"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," the caption asserted.
Callen declares that for him, "Satan is hope, compassion, equality, and love."
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