Entertainment And News

A Couple Found A Discontinued Target Pride Onesie In Store But Employees Stopped Them From Buying It For Their Baby

Photo: rblfmr/Iuliia Pilipeichenko/Shutterstock via Canva
Woman shopping at Target, woman holding a rainbow heart

A couple from West Palm Beach, Florida, took their 10-month-old son to Target on June 3, 2023, to stock on baby products — formula, diapers, and clothes. They wanted to buy a Pride onesie they found on the shelves, complete with a barcode and price tag, only to be told they weren’t allowed to do so.

The two dads found the discontinued Pride onesie at Target, but the store manager stopped them from buying it.

When Michael Hoffacker and Michael Roedel tried to ring up the onesie at the self-checkout line, an alert popped on the screen, stating that a Target employee was coming to assist them.

Hoffacker reported that the manager explained that they couldn’t sell them the onesie, as it should have been pulled from shelves and was designated with a ‘Do Not Sell’ on it. The manager explained to the dads that “if she were to sell us the item, she would probably lose her job,” Hoffacker said. They were given a phone number and told to call the company; a representative told them nothing could be done. 

Hoffacker said it was a “pretty painful and emotional moment… this was one of the moments when I felt like I didn’t have the rights that I deserved to have.” Roedel called the experience “hurtful and infuriating.”

RELATED: Student Not Allowed To Attend Prom Because They Wore A Suit— 'I Will Not Compromise Who I Am To Fit In A Box'

Target announced it was removing Pride merchandise from its stores on May 24, 2023, in response to threats from right-wing groups. In a statement, Target claimed, “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.”

Target ended its statement with the declaration that “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."

But the couple is asking Target for accountability, and to reverse their decision to pull its Pride merchandise from stores.

Hoffacker sent a letter to Target’s CEO and the Board of Directors in which he wrote, “Target claims to be an ally to the LGBTQ community… However, Allyship requires standing strong for those who are marginalized when it matters most. Target’s failed, and continues to fail, to do so in this moment.”

RELATED: Teen Feels 'Humiliated' After Getting Kicked Out Of Store While Trying On Prom Dresses

 Photo : Angyalosi Beata 

“Instead, Target has allowed itself to be bullied by a vocal minority using a tried-and-true playbook to threaten violence and fear against viewpoints they disagree with. This impacts us all. What will you do when they come for other minorities next?”

He signed his letter, “Do better, Target.”

Hoffacker and Roedel's request for Target to put Pride merchandise back on its shelves would require the corporation to stand up and act as a true ally to the queer community, and to offer more than words as a form of support. Actual allyship, the kind that affects change, requires more than just aligning oneself with marginalized communities when it's convenient to do so. Pride month holds more meaning than parades and dance parties— it's a reminder that the queer community is continuously working for equality and liberation. 

RELATED: A Mom Who Gave Birth To Her Son Explains The 'Degrading' Process Of Having To Legally Adopt Him After He Was Born

Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers celebrity gossip, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.