Starbucks Coffee Campaign Promotes Sex Change for Teens

This week, Starbucks UK released an ad campaign to promote acceptance of sex change in young teens. The ad shows a young trans person getting to use their chosen name while getting a coffee so it can be “called out” in the store, Breitbart reports.

The campaign, made in support of a UK trans youth organization, titled #whatsyourname, is the winner of the TV Channel 4 Diversity Award 2019. Starbucks says its new campaign urges young teens to try out a new name in public.

The ad tells the story of an English trans teen with a buzzed cut and nose ring named Jemma who is looking for an opportunity to use their “new” chosen name of “James.”

“Taking a customer’s name, writing it on a cup and calling it out is a symbol of our warm welcome,” the coffee chain says, adding the campaign “celebrates this signature act and the significance it can have for some transgender and gender diverse people as they use their new name in public.”

Starbucks says its new campaign was created with ad company Iris Worldwide and “inspired by real life experiences of people who were transitioning.”

“We discovered that they found Starbucks stores to be a safe space, where their new name was accepted, and they could be recognised as who they are,” the company states, adding it hopes the campaign will “address the transgender community’s lack of representation in UK advertising.”

“Many trans and non-binary Twitter users said the #WhatsYourName campaign brought back memories of the first time they too heard their chosen name in Starbucks,” Metro observed.

Starbucks states it is partnering with Mermaids, a U.K. organization that seeks to support “gender-diverse kids, young people and their families,”with the goal of raising at least £100,000 for its “helpline.”

In addition to the ad, the Starbucks #whatsyourname campaign has also released a series of “Moving Portraits,” videos, telling the stories of trans individuals of how they chose their new names.

However according to Buzzfeed,

While many have praised the campaign for what it represents, it’s also drawn complaints from trans Starbucks employees who say the company’s publicly declared values don’t always align with how they’re treated.

Former and current employees told BuzzFeed News they’ve experienced being outed or misgendered by other employees, been confronted by their deadnames in company software, and having trouble accessing gender-affirming medical treatment under Starbucks’s employee insurance plans.

About Catherine Smith

Catherine Smith is a newcomer to Washington D.C. She met, and married an American journalist and moved to D.C from the U.K. She graduated with a B.A in Graphic, Media and Communications and worked in design and retail in the U.K.

Photo: GettyImages

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