LGBTQIA Authors Blast Target After Books Disappear off Company Website

LGBTQIA authors noticed that Target has been quietly taking their books off the company's website and some shelves. A spreadsheet on Google has also been created for authors to keep track if their book was taken off the website.

Brian D. Kennedy, author, of A Little Bit Country, took to Twitter to put Target on notice.

"Not to be alarmist, but my book, a gay rom-com, was up for pre-order at @Target earlier this year And now it's gone? Along with some other queer debut books?? While the straight titles from my publisher remain?! I really hope there's a logical explanation (besides homophobia)," he wrote.

In a continued Twitter thread, he posted screenshots of the company's website sharing two books from his publisher that are available, and three (containing LGBTQIA topics) that have disappeared.

"For transparency: A sales rep at my publisher spoke to a buyer at Target who said this was not intentional. They said it may be a technical result of their search rules and rankings, as they have a limiter on how many titles can be on the website at any given time," Kennedy said.

He continued: "From what I've seen on Twitter, this technical glitch has only affected a rather large number of LGBTQIA books. Given everything that's going on, you can imagine why this is worrisome. According to the buyer from Target, they are looking into it and hope to correct the problem."

Many other authors and readers pitch in their disappointment on social media.

"Uhhh holy s**t? COOL FOR THE SUMMER and HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE are both gone as well," author Dahlia Alder tweeted.

Lane Clark, writer of Love Times Infinity, wrote: "Now @target what the f**k is this now..... The Witchery, Ophelia After All, We Deserve Monuments, Lesbiana's Guide to Catholic School, Deep in Providence ALL GONE. ALL QUEER. ALL BY DEBUT WRITERS OF COLOR. EXPLAIN YOURSELF."

"@Target why?? WHAT IS YOUR AGENDA? I guarantee you're going to lose more than you gain. Put #LGBT BOOKS BACK UP!" one user said.

"This is terrible," wrote another. "Apparently a LOTTT of lgbt+ 2021/22 books are gone?? just WIPED from the site? If it's a glitch... it's a pretty freaking SPECIFIC 'glitch' FIX THIS NOW with all your pride merch."

Other authors tweeted asking followers to tweet links to their books in order for people to purchase them.

"As soon as they became aware of the problem, my publisher responded immediately by reaching out to their contacts at Target," Kennedy told Newsweek, "Target later got back to them and said the removal of my book was not intentional."

He continued: "Personally, I would be very relieved to know that this was all done in error. It was scary to see how many LGBTQIA authors responded on Twitter by saying their books were no longer available, either. Given everything that's going on with LGBTQIA books being banned from schools and libraries, and the 'Dont Say Gay' bill, we're in a landscape where, unfortunately, queer authors have to be thinking about and watching for these kinds of situations."

Target responded after the influx of author queries.

"During a recent website refresh, we learned that several books were inadvertently removed from our assortment," a Target representative told Newsweek, "We're looking into the changes with our team and publishers and working quickly to return any books that were removed in error."

LGBTQIA pride flag
LGBTQIA authors have noticed that their books have been quietly taken off Target's website. WOJTEK RADWANSKI/AFP