Dear Target: A Letter From A Queer Mom

by Erica C.
Originally Published: 

Dear Target:

Like many moms, I love you. But I also love you for different reasons.

As a corporation, you remain committed to providing an inclusive experience for shoppers and employees.

On April 19, you reiterated your policy that transgender customers and team members could use the restrooms and fitting rooms that correspond with their gender identity, making yourself the first major retailer to take a public stance.

These days, your name is plastered all over headlines, what some might call a public relations nightmare. People have threatened to boycott, standing in front of stores with signs and chanting. But as a queer mom, I stand with you.

Thank you for standing strong through the protests and boycotts. Thank you for holding your ground and working to ensure your stores are safe for your customers and your employees.

Here are some staggering statistics about injustices faced by transgender people. A recent survey of transgender people reveals:

– 90% report harassment, mistreatment, or discrimination at work.

– 29% experience harassment by police.

– 57% face family rejection.

– Transgender people face 2 times the unemployment rate, with trans people of color experiencing 4 times that rate.

– They are 4 times more likely to live on less than $10,000 annual income.

In 2016 alone, eight transgender people (that we know of) have been murdered, three of which occurred here in Texas (Austin, San Antonio, and Houston). Data show that in areas where there are battles being waged around bathroom access, calls to national and local LGBT and trans-specific suicide hotlines go up.

Over the years, you have stayed committed to your beliefs in diversity and inclusion, as well as safety for your customers and employees. You take a public stand noting, “Everyone deserves to feel like they belong. And you’ll always be accepted, respected, and welcomed at Target.”

Thank you for making designer labels available to those on a middle-class income. Thank you for making it possible to get Starbucks while I shop, because this mom needs coffee. Thank you for being a one-stop shop where I can get a birthday gift, trash bags, a gallon of soy milk, a carton of blueberries, and a treat for my kids in the Dollar Spot. Thank you for being clean, organized, and staffed with friendly sales people.

But most importantly, thank you for being a pioneer for social justice. Thank you for making this queer mom feel safe and welcome.

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