The department store recently launched its newest line of LGBT+ clothing, in honour of Pride Month in June. As noted on the Kohl’s website, the merchandise ranges from hats, shirts, and pants, with the colours of the Pride flag on it, for customers of all ages.
However, shoppers have gone to social media to express their issues with some of the Pride clothing. More specifically, many Twitter users have criticised a grey onesie at Kohl’s, as they questioned the brand for selling this clothing item for babies and claimed that they were now boycotting the store.
“In case you need clothes for your Gay or Trans 3 month old, Kohl’s has you covered,” online commentator ALX wrote, along with a picture of the onesie. “Yes this is real.”
“Kohl’s is pushing LGBTQ pride for babies. Please boycott them,” a second wrote. “( NOW KHOLS #BOYCOTTKHOLS !!!! )
“Why is Kohl’s selling ‘Pride Merch’ for 3 month old babies?” political columnist Benny Johnson added.
As shown on the Kohl’s website, the grey onesie includes cartoons of people walking together and cheering. One member of the group also held up the Progressive Pride Flag, which is an updated version of the flag that features colours to represent transgender, Black, and brown people. The onesie comes with a pair of black pants, with a rainbow, striped pattern on them.
According to the product’s description, the Pride Bodysuit Set was created to “celebrate the joy that comes from living authentically and unapologetically during Pride month”.
A viral video shared to Twitter by Twisted Luck INC also showed a customer in a Kohl’s store, while looking at the Pride collection. As he claimed that this video was initially deleted from his TikTok due to “hate speech”, he held up and filmed some of the Pride-themed items for children and babies.
Some of the clothing he showed included a rainbow shirt for a child, which specified the meaning of the letters LGBTGIA, and a rainbow tutu. As he claimed that these items were “inappropriate” for children, he went on to hold up other Pride-theme merchandise, including a mug that read: “Be Proud of Who You Are.”
Along with Twisted Luck INC, many Twitter users compared Kohl’s decision to sell Pride Merch to Bud Light, who recently received backlash for its partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney. Critics also compared the brand to Target, as the retailer removed its Pride collection due to criticism from customers and threats to staff.
CRAZY! Posted this on TikTok earlier & quickly went over 200k & was taken down again for “hate speech”. I simply showed items Kohls is selling for kids, see for yourself. What’s the relation between Kohls & TikTok I wonder🤔 (video split to fit) pic.twitter.com/aZ5TRxchCI
— 🇺🇸Twisted Luck Truth☘️ (@TwistedLuckINC) May 24, 2023
Why is Kohl’s selling “Pride Merch” for 3 month old babies? pic.twitter.com/e2ErOzwYOT
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) May 28, 2023
Another woman named Morgonn also shared a video on Twitter to claim that Kohl’s was “promoting transgender ideology to kids as young as three months old”, with its onesie and rainbow pants.
However, many people have still praised Kohl’s for its Pride merchandise and criticised shoppers who intend on boycotting the brand.
“People wanna boycott kohls because of their Pride collection,” another added. “I love stanning kohls. I’m gonna shop there even more now.”
A third added: “Stand your ground @Kohls PLEASE don’t remove a damn thing, don’t let them win!”
The Independent has contacted Kohl’s for comment.
On 24 May, Target first announced that it was pulling some of its Pride Month merchandise after several of its employees experienced inappropriate behaviour from upset customers.
“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. “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.”
Several videos posted on social media have shown customers destroying Target’s Pride Month displays and heavily criticising the retail company for including LGBT+ attire.
Although the company did not specify which items it was removing, Reuters reported that the store pulled items from British designer Erik Carnell’s LGBTQ-focused brand Abprallen. On the Abprallen Instagram account, the designer – who is trans and gay – condemned the response that led to the decision to remove the items, while clarifying that the merchandise was created for Target’s adult section and not for children.
“Not like there’s real problems in the world. Gotta talk about this instead. Satanic panic and transphobia running riot. Eighties mindset without the cool clothes,” Carnell wrote.