Drag Race star Shea Couleé has slammed Target after a fan was denied from buying her Pride Month merch at the store.
Back in May, the popular US-based retailer announced that they would be removing some of its LGBTQ+ Pride merch due to staff members being threatened by conservative customers.
“Since introducing this year’s collection, we’ve experienced threats impacting our team members’ sense of safety and wellbeing 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,” a Target spokesperson told The Daily Beast.
Due to Target’s controversial stance, the retailer has received backlash from LGBTQ+ activists and an array of public figures, including Drag Race All Stars 7 queen Shea.
On 5 June, one of Shea’s fans revealed that he was barred from buying Target merch in a lengthy Twitter statement.
“I was honestly surprised and happy when I walked in the store to still see a Pride section at a @Target store. And to see a Shea shirt for sale? Score. It wasn’t until I went to ring it up that the POS system said to not sell it and take them all off the floor,” Twitter user Michael (miko_chaymbuhz) explained.
After talking to two different store employees, he was informed by an employee wearing a pronouns shirt that the purchase error was likely due to Target’s decision to remove their Pride merch.
“And they said they felt as defeated about it as I did. I told them I used to work for Target as well and it’s shameful and such a gut punch to the LGBTQ+ people who work there,” he continued.
I was honestly surprised and happy when I walked in the store to still see a Pride section at a @Target store. And to see a Shea shirt for sale? Score. It wasn’t until I went to ring it up that the POS system said to not sell it and take them all off the floor.
— Michael✨ (@miko_chaymbuhz) June 5, 2023
Toward the end of his Twitter statement, Michael revealed that he complained to Target’s Guest Services number, which resulted in a generic and unhelpful response.
“I’m just so sad. I’m sad this is the state of our world right now. And I’m scared. I know my friends are scared. I know my family is scared. I didn’t think a denied Target purchase was gonna be what brought up all these emotions, but it did,” he wrote.
In response to Michael’s emotional story, Shea quote tweeted his thread to offer support, send him merch and slam Target for their “performative allyship.”
“So sad to hear about this experience at @Target. However, I’m not surprised that a corporation that engaged in performative allyship for capitalistic gain would flip,” the All Stars 7 queen wrote.
“Michael, let me know what size you need, and I’ll make sure personally that you get one. That way, you won’t be giving Target any more underserved money.”
After receiving Shea’s heartfelt message, Michael expressed his gratitude for the beloved queen in a follow-up response.
“Shea, you are the kindest soul. I’m also not surprised, but still disappointed nonetheless. I will gladly take you up on your offer and send the money (+ a bit extra) to a local queer org,” he added.
So sad to hear about this experience at @Target . However, I’m not surprised that a corporation who engaged in performative allyship for capitalistic gain would flip. Michael, you let me know what size you need, and I’ll make sure personally that you get one. That way you won’t… https://t.co/EmDATIgaQl
— Shea Couleé (@SheaCoulee) June 5, 2023