Lady Gaga + Target = Gay BFFs No More

Just two weeks ago we told you that Lady Gaga and Target had forged an unlikely paring, hinging on the company’s promise to reform their political ties as they pertained to the LGBT community.  Last year, Target inspired a country-wide Gay Boycott after contributing $150,000 to MN Forward, a political action committee that supported antigay candidate Tom Emmer in his failed 2010 run for governor of Minnesota. According to the deal, Gaga was to give Target exclusive rights to sell the deluxe edition [bonus songs + remixes] of Born This Way and Target would try to dig deep in their pockets and give more than just 2% of it’s millions of dollars worth of charity donations to LGBT resources.

Well, that went to shit pretty quickly.  According to E Online, Target ultimately “refused to promise that it would never donate to political groups or politicians believed to be anti-gay.” How charming! So, despite her best efforts to better the world of corporate bigotry, Lady Gaga stuck it to The Man and officially dissolved the relationship:

“She and Target didn’t see eye to eye on Target’s policy of political donations and how they affect the LGBT community. They came to a mutual decision to end their overall exclusive partnership a few weeks ago.”

While the whole ordeal is unfortunate, it’s impressive to see Gaga remain true to her audience and prove she’s a woman of integrity who keeps her word. In an age where so many pop stars are worshiped by (and owe their careers to) the gays, it’s awesome to see this kind of respect in return.

Will you ever shop at Target again?

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!


Jess is a pop culture junkie living in New York City. She enjoys endless debates about The L Word, Howard Stern, new techy gadgets, DVR, exploring the labyrinth of the Lesbian Internet, memoirs, working out, sushi, making lists, artsy things, anything Lady Gaga touches, traveling, puppies, and nyc in the fall. Find her on Twitter @jessxnyc or via email.

Jess has written 240 articles for us.


  1. Pretty clothes….conscience. Pretty clothes…conscience.
    Fine conscience, you win. I won’t.

  2. Wowwww, saw this coming. Sadly, there is no where else to shop where I live, so probably so. Jerk offs :(

  3. Whoa shoot. I literally just got a flannel shirt in the mail from them today. GOD DAMN IT.

  4. Geez. Wal-Mart is inherently evil; Target hates gay people. Where in the west bubblefu*k am I supposta shop now. Someone bring back FEDCO.

  5. I’ll be honest… I didn’t stop after the first hullabaloo with the MN shit. I figured (in my pessimistic mind-space) eh, all corporations are just out to make money so why should we expect them to care about the individual? Whatevz.

    But I’m actually re-thinking my stance now. I probably won’t stop completely (because hoo! do they have some good clearance racks and cute plus size clothes that are almost always on clearance) but I’m gonna sure as hell try. This is a lot of bullshit and I’m tired of being tolerant of it.

  6. Eh, I don’t know. I think promising to make an effort not to donate to groups that they know to actively work against gay rights, would’ve been good enough for me. Lots of local community churches have anti-gay views and it makes sense that Target wouldn’t commit to never donating to that kind of organization.

  7. Damn, that’s too bad.
    I heart (ed) target with a passion, but it looks like they will gain my monies no more.
    Damn them! Right when a super target was about to open up, too.

  8. I’m but a dorm-dwelling college student who often doesn’t have the time or energy to go all the way to my car (parked very very far away), and there is a ten minute bus to Target, the closest store with food and all that to my campus.

    It’s sort of unavoidable for me. ):

    I’m always so disappointed when things like this happen though. Sort of like deviantArt being all tranphobic… but it’s easier for me to avoid giving them money than Target.

      • They options for Gender used to be Male, Female, and Unspecified but then they got rid of Unspecified. There was a huge fuss and then they changed it to Sex instead of Gender and added an Other option. I also heard that they were considering adding a Gender category too.

  9. this makes me actually like lady gaga now. that and those awesome glasses she’s wearing above.

  10. Bummer. I bought a really cute Converse jacket and jeans from Target last fall. Their dressing rooms are pretty great. And their flannel shirts are a gay staple – I’ve seen at least 4 other girls with them on (2 of which were verified lesbian/queer).

    So many pros, they are evil corporate wankers…

    Boycott? I’m still a poor college student, but maybe.

    Gotta give Gaga props for standing up to The Man. Although she can easily find another chain that will offer money for exclusive rights, Target probably offered the best deal.

  11. Damnit! I was actually happy to get back in there and buy some things for my apartment but not anymore! Ugh.

    They treat their employees like shit too. I worked there for some time and clearly their attitudes seem to go all the way to the top.

  12. Aww man. This is so disappointing. I mean, I’ve been shopping at Target my whole life and it’s so freaking convenient. I’m going to try really hard to avoid it, though.

    Lady Gaga is really growing on me. That’s awesome she followed through with her end of the deal.

  13. Go GaGa! and i haven’t set foot in a Target since this story broke,and sure as hell ain’t gonna start back now. So…HELL NO. I WILL NOT BE SHOPPING AT TARGET.

  14. …darn it… No more Target priced boy’s underwear for me. >.< STICK IT TO THE MAN! Or in the man, your call, your choice, whatever floats your boat.

  15. Well, I’m pretty much screwed, because I work at Target. I can’t get a job anywhere else right now (I’ve tried) and I can’t afford to quit. Thankfully, I only have two more years of college and then I can (hopefully) get a real job.

  16. Here’s an interesting blog entry from back in the day on why boycotting Target could be counterproductive. The author is a queer, feminist Latino native of Minneapolis. He wrote quite a few good entries about the whole ordeal later, as well.

    • I read it.

      The author is full of crap. It is great that he is queer/feminist positive, but that doesn’t mean that he knows anything about how corporations function.

      He basically implies that boycotting is NEVER justified since it will hurt the employees….which it won’t.

      If immediately after the boycott has been declared, Target sees significantly changes in revenues to the point that it would start altering its operating activities (cutting employee hours as the author suggest), it will
      react with to end the boycott.

      The CEO is responsible to shareholders. Regardless of his own feelings, if there are clear numbers to indicate that he has to issue a queer-happy response, he MUST, or else resign.

      • Hey Waxey:

        I thoroughly understand how corporations work. I particularly understand how Target works. And I never said NOR implied that we should avoid boycotting corporations. I said that we should avoid boycotting target BECAUSE it will hurt working people and WILL NOT get us what we want. And, surprise, it hasn’t.

        I do support high profile actions like Lady Gaga’s….which hit Target right where they hate to be hit…in their pretty pretty shiny good guy public face.

        (And, ps, I also said I would support a Target boycott if it were organized WITH the support of Target employees…for example their LGBT group…we aren’t going to buy our liberation by ensuring the subjugation of working poor people…it isn’t going to happen…and it will hurt US in the long run).


        • this is exactly why I feel so conflicted about a boycott.

          Target just opened a new store in Emeryville, next door to Oakland. Oakland has high unemployment, and I’m glad that a bunch of new jobs have been created here that don’t have a higher education degree barrier to them.

          I wish the store was actually in Oakland, or in an area that didn’t have so much existing retail (aka a place where it could have been an anchor to bring more business in, instead of being surrounding by existing ones) but I don’t just belong to the LGBTQ community. I’m also a poor Oaklander. I don’t like having to weigh one community’s needs against the other, because let’s face it, I’m sure there are queer poor Oaklanders who now have a job thanks to the new Target. Or someone’s able to get their queer kid better resources thanks to their new income working at Target.

          idk. I have lots of #feelings about this. I think organizing with Target’s LGBTQ group is a valid criticism of the existing boycott, or perhaps there being more of a coordinated boycotting effort (like one particular day, or a week where everyone goes in to Target, makes their normal purchase, and returns it stating why. something organized, visible, quantitative). Otherwise, it’s just a hodge-podge of reduced shopping.

          Also, I acknowledge that this is poorly-written and full of run-ons. Sleep deprivation makes for terrible writing.

  17. Noooo! I didn’t know. Damn, that is where I usually get all of my colorful derby tights.

    Maybe I’ll just play completely naked from now on.

  18. I like that Gaga kept her word, but otherwise I don’t really care. I didn’t join the boycott of Target in the first place cause really like Walmart is any less evil and you gotta get the basic supplies somewhere.

  19. Maybe someone can point me gayly towards a homofriendly store that I can get the basics in Rockford, IL? Ya know: Axe products, condoms, All Free & Clear detergent, and Q-tips. Anything else that I do buy, I’m buying local from now on. Except new toys. I’ll order those through Autostraddle/Babeland.

  20. I will stop buying from Target… just after I buy their inexpensive onesie. It’s a must to have.

  21. PS All of this went down last summer and Greg Steinhafel has NEVER apologized nor has he stepped down.


  22. This is beautiful. ILY Gaga. <3

    Fucking Target, I used to love shopping there all the freakin time. =( But lately they've just been bitches, so. Sad day.

  23. bye bye Wally World (WalMart)? Easy. Target? not in sight. Mall? Hot Topic? YAY!!!! The evil bastards of bigotry and social malignancy are easy to avoid if you have a mall nearby. Or if you have to drive to the next county for a mall, like me… oh well, it’s worth the sense of pride. Remember babies, the loudest voice is a silent cash register.

  24. Goddamn it. Where the fuck am I supposed to shop now? I loved Target; it makes me all happy inside to go there. (Also popcoooorn.)

    I hate Walmart with a passion & avoid going there whenever possible. So Target, while slightly more expensive, was my refuge. & now that’s screwed. WHERE DO I GOOOOOO?

    I feel like Kmart is too trashy to possibly be good to LGBT people, but does anyone know anything about that?

Comments are closed.