Starbucks Calls a Trans Man by His Name in Heartwarming Ad
A Starbucks ad has melted the hearts of LGBTQ Twitter.
The one-minute video, part of the coffee chain’s #whatsyourname campaign, depicts a young transgender man navigating a variety of circumstances in which he is deadnamed — his doctor, a delivery man, and even his dad refer to him by the name he was called prior to his transition.
The advertisement ends with the man visiting Starbucks, and his true name, James, is called out by the barista. It is also written on his coffee cup.
“At Starbucks, writing your name on a cup and calling it out is a symbol of our warm welcome. It’s a small gesture, but it’s symbolic of what we believe in: Recognition and acceptance, whoever you are, or want to be. We welcome everyone,” Starbucks U.K. noted in the YouTube description.
In addition to raising LGBTQ visibility, the campaign supports Mermaids, an organization supporting transgender and gender-diverse young people in the U.K., which provides a lifeline for this community. A portion of Starbucks purchases of mermaid fin-shaped cookies will benefit the group for up to at least £100,000.
“The funds raised through #whatsyourname will allow us to make a meaningful change to our helpline that supports young trans people and their families who are so desperately in need of access to information and reassurance,” said Susie Green, CEO of Mermaids.
The ad — the winner of Channel 4’s Diversity in Advertising Award, which guarantees £1 million of commercial airtime — first aired Sunday in the United Kingdom. It has also sparked considerable praise on social media from trans people and their allies.
As part of its #whatsyourname campaign, Starbucks has also featured other stories from transgender people on choosing their names in a series called Moving Portraits. Watch the portrait of Cairo below.