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News Analysis May 11, 2022 8:39 AM EST

Target launches trans merch for kids as well as chest binders, 'packing underwear'

The Pride Adult TOMBOYX Compression Top "is designed to keep you comfortable while letting you be your best self."

Target launches trans merch for kids as well as chest binders, 'packing underwear'
Libby Emmons Brooklyn, NY

Target is now selling chest binders for girls. These binders are meant to be worn over the chest, to suppress visibility of breasts and create the look of a flat chest. Girls typically do this in order to appear more masculine. The binders are marketed to biological girls and women who identify as transgender or non-binary.

Target's Pride for kids line features rompers, dresses, and mini-skirts for both girls and boys, as well as baby onesies reading "my first pride," and baby blue and pink tie-dyed shirts for toddlers that read "trans rights are human rights."  Target also announced the partnership with TomboyX, which was founded with the idea of "fostering acceptance and equality" and features packers and chest-binders.

The Pride collection for kids features baby blue and baby pink shirts and clothes, with blue ones featuring Disney princess graphics and the pink ones featuring Star Wars imagery, along with others. Pride gear for toddlers is also available. Much of it is adorned with glitter. Designers of the clothes and accessories are featured at Target, along with their pronouns.

Some items do not appear "Pride" themed at all, but are tagged that way, such as a floral sundress which is just a basic clothing item. But there is no mistaking the purpose of the chest binders or the packers. These are for biological women who wish to appear more masculine.

The Pride Adult TOMBOYX Compression Top "is designed to keep you comfortable while letting you be your best self." The description of the binder reads: "With its athletic look, this compression top is great for both everyday wear and more active days." These come in sizes from 3xs, which is essentially a child's size, up to 6x.

"TomboyX makes underwear and activewear that any body can feel comfortable and confident in, regardless of where you fall on the size or gender spectrum," Target touts about the new product.

Models who have undergone double-mastectomies to make their bodies appear more masculine are also featured in Target's advertising of the new lingerie line.

TomboyX is "a queer-founded brand dedicated to empowering our LGBTQ+ community year-round, and advocating for equal representation and celebration of all people."

Target is also selling "packers," which give the appearance of a phallus.

"We are proud to design and manufacture thoughtful, beautifully-made products for all bodies and needs, of all sizes and across the gender spectrum," they write.

The description reads that "Pride packing underwear in black inspire confidence." On the TomboyX website, the details on packing underwear go further, saying: "This version of our classic 6" fly boxer briefs features a deep pocket to securely and comfortably accommodate a soft FTM packer. Combined with our oh-so soft stretch-blend cotton, signature stay-put waistband, and chafe-free mid-length coverage, these briefs ensure comfort and confidence all day long. Because the packer sits inside a pouch, STP use is not recommended."

Binders are a common fashion item for biological women who identify as trans or non-binary and wish to suppress their breasts. Binders are also available to children for free via the non-profit organization the Transition Closet.

Chest binding does not come without substantial health complications. Pro-trans health site Clue notes that binding can cause breathing problems, can affect "skin elasticity," and could have a negative impact on "surgical outcomes" after a voluntary double-mastectomy of healthy breasts.

WebMD goes further, saying that chest binding restricts breathing, causes skin irritation, causes skin to "break" around the edges of the binder, can cause overheating, and can even lead to bruised or fractured ribs.

Chest binding is essentially a cosmetic remedy for gender dysphoria, a condition wherein a person believes they were meant to be born the opposite sex.

Target also partnered with the GLSEN organization, and Target notes that GLSEN "leads the movement in creating affirming, accessible and anti-racist spaces for LGBTQIA+ students. We are proud of 10+ years of collaboration with GLSEN and continue to support their mission."

GLSEN has been funded by Disney for more than 20 years, and is an organization that also pushes LGBTQ+ curriculum into public schools, not just in the US, but globally.

A lengthy library of LGBTQ+ titles are also sold at Target, from the "Bye Bye, Binary" board book and "The Pronoun Book," to titles for teens and young adults.

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