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A Man Offers A Strong Rebuttal For People Who Think Target Is 'Pushing An Agenda'

Photo: Valeriya Zankovych / Shutterstock & TikTok
Target store, man on TikTok

LGBTQ Pride Month has always been controversial, but this year's celebration seems to have generated more outrage than any in recent memory. Duped by many Republican politicians' and Christians' attempts to smear queer people as pedophiles, conservatives have ramped up attacks on queer people and the concept of Pride, citing as their motivation the supposed LGBTQ "agenda" of "grooming" children into homosexual and transgender identities.

There is no merit to those accusations, nor is there any evidence for them. And as a man very simply and expertly laid out in a recent video, they also don't make any sense.

A man on TikTok is being applauded for the way he dismantled people's claims about the supposed 'LGBTQ agenda'.

 Photo: TikTok

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TikToker Shamar Alion's take on the matter was inspired by a recent rash of incidents in Target stores in which right-wing and Christian anti-LGBTQ activists have attacked not only Pride-themed merchandise displays, but also several stores' employees, according to the company.

In his take, Alion took right-wingers to task on the very notion of the "agenda" that is inspiring their attacks, laying bare how non-sensical it truly is.

Alion pointed out that 'agendas' are pushed on us all the time—including a subtly sexualized heterosexual agenda targeted directly at children.

"What is the definition of pushing an agenda?" Alion asked, and then used his own sobriety as an example. "I don't drink, right? But everywhere I go in damn near every store, I see liquor, wine, and beer advertisement. Is that pushing an agenda?" He also mentioned the experience of being Jewish at Christmas. "I can bet your bottom dollar come December, I'm going to hear Christmas music, see Christmas movies advertised everywhere, Christmas clothes, Christmas parties.... Is that pushing an agenda?" 

 Photo: TikTok

Alion then pointed out the ways babies and children are constantly sexualized with heterosexual messaging on their clothes, often in subtly predatory contexts. "When my son was, like, one or two and I used to shop for him," Alion said, "or even when people would bring him shirts, it would always say, 'Little Player,' or 'Hide Your Daughter' or 'Lock Up Your Daughter,'... you know, some real predator sh-t."

Alion then exposed the deeply uncomfortable subtext of these sorts of products, regularly portrayed as "cute" jokes about children. "So you can start grooming and advertising your son as that little player or heartbreaker that you're going to teach your daughter to stay away from." Respectfully, it kinda sounds like you're the ones sexualizing children, straight folks.

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The TikToker then laid out how the notion of an 'LGBTQ agenda' sexualizing children and making them queer makes no sense—if it were real, there would never have been any queer people until very recently.

"I know what you're going to say," Alion said, "we just don't want to force homosexuality on the kids." Alion agreed that "sexuality, period" shouldn't be forced on kids, but that showing kids queer people exist and teaching them about sexuality are two entirely different things—and you need look no further than heterosexuality to prove it.

"[Kids] know about heterosexuality without having no idea what sex is," Alion said. "They know a man and a woman can like each other and be together, and they still don't have to know what they do in the f—king bedroom."

 Photo: TikTok

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And then he got right to the heart of the matter. "I do want to know, though, if the agenda is what supposedly turns kids gay or whatever…then how do we have so many people that grew up gay without any push of an agenda? If the push in heavy media and advertisement really works when it comes to sexuality, then no one should be gay. This sh-t just became acceptable ten minutes ago."

The inverse is true too, of course. I was raised evangelical Christian in an era when there were virtually no queer people on TV or in movies and queer people were regularly demonized in the media, in my home and at my church. Heck, I never even met a queer person until I was a full adult. Still gay! The conservative Christian nuclear family agenda made no difference.

   

   

TikTok commenters shared stories from their own lives that backed Alion up.

Many people thanked Alion for so eloquently dismantling the belligerent anti-LGBTQ rhetoric that seems to have consumed so many Americans recently. "Thanks for sharing your outlook," one woman wrote, "as an LGBTQ family your words mean a lot."

Others commented with their own experiences that bear out Alion's takes. Responding to his point about homosexual people and homosexual sex being two different things, one woman wrote, "my [three-year-old] still thinks my husband and I are 'friends'! I'm rolling with it until he gets older and I can explain."

And as for kids being somehow influenced by knowing about LGBTQ people? Several people had the opposite experience. "My [8-year-old asked] how can Miss___ & Miss___ get married?," a mom wrote. "I said, 'they love each other just like Daddy & I.' Her response? 'Oh.' Kids don’t care!" 

Here's hoping more kids' parents take their children's cues. Because Queer people have existed for as long as human beings have walked the Earth, even in the Bible. We aren't new. And we certainly aren't going anywhere.

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice and human interest topics.