Target has donated $2.1 million to an LGBTQ advocacy group that has pressured school districts to not tell parents if their children identify as another gender, according to an online report by Fox News Digital.
The retail giant, which has been the subject of widespread boycott calls in the wake of protests over its “PRIDE” collection, has partnered with the Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), a teacher group founded in 1990 with the aim of “creating affirming learning environments for LGBTQ youth.”
GLSEN has also opposed efforts by legislators to ban LGBTQ books with sexually explicit themes.
“GLSEN leads the movement in creating affirming … and anti-racist spaces for LGBTQIA+ students. We are proud of 10+ years of collaboration with GLSEN and continue to support their mission,” Target said.
“Target and GLSEN share a belief that all children deserve the opportunity to learn and thrive in a safe environment,” said Laysha Ward, executive vice president and chief corporate social responsibility officer for Target.
“The voices and stories of the students and educators in this documentary show how far we’ve come as a nation and give us hope that all students can reach their full potential and be proud of who they are.”
GLSEN has been among the organizations that have urged states and school districts to refrain from notifying parents whenever students decide to “socially transition” their gender.
School leaders told the Washington Post that not notifying parents is necessary in order to avoid outing children who could be in harm’s way at home.
One controversial practice used by some schools in at least 18 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico is having teachers use new trans names for children in class but then reverting to the original “dead” names when talking with parents.
The secrecy surrounding children’s gender has prompted several lawsuits in states such as Massachusetts, Florida, Wisconsin, Kansas, Virginia and Maryland.
GLSEN has also urged teachers to intervene if children are drawing graphics or pictures involving sex so as to make sure they are compliant with gender ideology.
“When students are creating their own surveys, if they want to include data for biological sex, teachers need to be sure they include both intersex and other as choices,” GLSEN wrote in a blog post titled “How Do We Make Math Class More Inclusive of Trans and Non-binary Identities.”
“[A]nd if the students want to include data for gender, a variety of choices need to be included, such as agender, genderfluid, female, male, nonbinary, transman, transwoman, and other.”
The Post has sought comment from Target and GLSEN.
Target said Tuesday it was removing some items from its stores and making other changes to its LGBTQ+ merchandise nationwide ahead of Pride month after intense backlash from some customers who confronted workers and ripped down displays.
“Since introducing this year’s collection, we’ve experienced threats impacting our team members’ sense of safety and well-being while at work,” Target said in a statement Tuesday.
Target has lost more than $9 billion in market value since angry social media users called for a boycott of the Minneapolis-based retailer over its rollout of the “PRIDE” collection featuring LGBTQ-friendly clothing for children.