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Florida Gay Couple Say They Weren't Allowed to Buy Pride Onesie at Target

Florida Gay Couple Say They Weren't Allowed to Buy Pride Onesie at Target

Gay Couple Says They Weren't Allowed to Purchase Pride Onesie at Target

Gay Couple Says They Weren't Allowed to Purchase Pride Onesie at Target

Target's decision to pull Pride merchandise from its shelves is impacting LGBTQ+ people nationwide.

Following Target's decision to pull Pride merchandise off of some of its shelves, LGBTQ+ people nationwide are feeling the effects.

A gay couple in West Palm Beach, Fla., recently opened up about an incident in a local target that left them "shocked." Michael Roedel and Michael Hoffacker said that when they attempted to buy a Pride-themed onesie for their 10-month-old son, they were told by staff that they weren't allowed to purchase it.

"A Target team member walked over and she let us know that that item should have been pulled from the shelves and it had a ‘Do Not Sell’ on it and they would not be able to sell us the item,” Hoffacker told local news outlet WPBF. "I was confident that with the fact that it was there that we would be able to actually purchase it and that I would actually be able to talk one of the managers into selling it to us."

Hoffacker noted that the onesie had a tag attached to it, and nothing marking it unavailable for sale. He explained that when they attempted to scan the barcode at a self-checkout machine, a notice appeared saying that an employee was on the way. When the manager arrived, she told the parents that she wasn't allowed to sell it to them

“We said that that was unreasonable. [The manager] told us if she were to sell us the item, she would probably lose her job,” Hoffacker continued.

The manager then gave them an 800-number to call for assistance, but employees over the phone told them that nothing could be done. The couple has since written a letter to the Target CEO and board of directors urging them to return Pride merchandise to their shelves. Target has not yet responded to the incident.

"It was a pretty painful and emotional moment," said Hoffacker. "I’ve never actually felt restricted from my rights as a gay man through being in college to when I came out until now, I mean this was one of the moments when I felt like I didn’t have the rights that I deserved to have. It was very uncomfortable."

Roedel added, “Infuriating. That says it all. Infuriating ... Target, in this moment, is wrong. They need to be better and they need to be a better ally in this community, and especially in a situation where our family is there trying to celebrate who we are."

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Ryan Adamczeski

Ryan is a staff writer at The Advocate, and a graduate of New York University Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing, with a focus in television writing and comedy. She first became a published author at the age of 15 with her YA novel "Someone Else's Stars," and is now a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. In her free time, Ryan likes watching New York Rangers hockey, listening to the Beach Boys, and practicing witchcraft.
Ryan is a staff writer at The Advocate, and a graduate of New York University Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing, with a focus in television writing and comedy. She first became a published author at the age of 15 with her YA novel "Someone Else's Stars," and is now a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. In her free time, Ryan likes watching New York Rangers hockey, listening to the Beach Boys, and practicing witchcraft.