Fact Check

Is Target Donating $100K to 'Promote Gay Lifestyles to School Children'?

The retail chain is donating to a charity that works to prevent the bullying of LGBT children in school.

Published May 31, 2019

 (Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock.com)
Image Via Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock.com
Target is donating $100,000 to "promote gay lifestyles to school children."
What's True

The Target retail chain is donating $100,000 to a charity that works to stop bullying and harassment of LGBT children in school.

What's False

The recipient charity doesn't promote an imagined "gay lifestyle" to school children.

In late May 2019, the Life Site News website published an article headlined, "Target stores donate $100K to LGBT nonprofit that promotes ‘inclusive’ K-12 schools." The story resulted in spin-off internet postings, which included this widely shared meme:

Although the national retailer has indeed donated $100,000 to the charity Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN), that charitable organization does not "promote gay lifestyles to school children." Rather, GLSEN works to eradicate bullying of LGBT students in schools.

Furthermore, as the organization Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) points out, there is no such thing as a "gay lifestyle," any more than there are supposed fixed "lifestyles" for any other demographic groups. "Lesbians, gay men and bisexuals are diverse in the ways they lead their lives," GLAAD notes. "The phrase 'gay lifestyle' is used to denigrate lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals suggesting that their orientation is a choice and therefore can and should be 'cured.'"

On their website, GLSEN notes that their mission is to "ensure that LGBTQ students are able to learn and grow in a school environment free from bullying and harassment. Together, we can transform our nation’s K-12 schools into the safe and affirming environment all youth deserve."

GLSEN does so through research, education, and promoting policies that support inclusivity and safety for LGBT students, according to GLSEN's website.

Target is advertising the $100,000 donation on their website, where it is also selling rainbow-themed gear celebrating Pride month, which is typically commemorated in June:

Target has been a focal point for anti-gay cultural war campaigners since 2016, when the retail chain was the first major national corporation to take a prominent stand on that election year's < controversy over bathroom use and gender identity.

At the time, the company announced that "In our stores, we demonstrate our commitment to an inclusive experience in many ways. Most relevant for the conversations currently underway, we welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity."

In an example of rumors spread on the topic, in 2017 various websites claimed that Target stock had crashed due to the chain's inclusive bathroom policy. In fact, the company had experienced a temporary stock dive over lower-than-expected projections, and within a year the chain's stock price rebounded to an all-time high.


Abrams, Rachel.   "Target Steps Out in Front of Bathroom Choice Debate."     The New York Times.   27 April 2016.

GLAAD.   "GLAAD Media Reference Guide - Terms to Avoid."     Accessed 31 May 2019.

Target.   "Continuing to Stand for Inclusivity."     19 August 2016.

Bethania Palma is a journalist from the Los Angeles area who started her career as a daily newspaper reporter and has covered everything from crime to government to national politics. She has written for ... read more