Powerful new Starbucks advert supports trans charity

The coffee company has pledged to raise £100,000 for the charity

Joanna Whitehead
Monday 03 February 2020 10:38 GMT
Starbucks advert for trans rights

A powerful new Starbucks advert depicting a transgender person being called the right name has been launched in support of the transgender children’s charity Mermaids.

The advert, which was televised on Sunday evening, shows a young transgender man in several situations in which his deadname (the name he was assigned at birth) is used.

His deadname 'Jemma' is used when receiving a parcel for, being called for an appointment at his GPs and being introduced to friends by his father.

James’ discomfort at being referred to by his deadname is evident.

In the last scene, James goes to Starbucks and is asked for his name.

He replies ‘James’ and the barista writes this on his cup of coffee.

James smiles and the words ‘every name’s a story’ appear on the screen.

The hashtag #whatsyourname was launched in conjunction with the advert, with many people sharing what it means to them emotionally on social media.

“Cried happy tears watching that advert. Made me feel all those feelings the first time someone said my name,” said one Twitter user, while another wrote: “As someone who is trans, I cannot express how much this means to me.

"It may seem like a small thing, but to a trans person, it means everything. Thank you Starbucks.”

The advert won Channel 4’s Diversity in Advertising competition which attracts a prize of £1m of commercial airtime.

The award aims to challenge the lack of representation of LGBT+ people in advertising, after their research revealed that only 0.3 per cent of all adverts feature a transgender person.

Estimates put the size of the UK transgender population at around one per cent.

The American coffee company has pledged a minimum of £100,000 for the trans kids charity Mermaids through the sale of a special edition Mermaid cookie in their stores.

The charity has seen over a 600 per cent increase in demands for its helpline services over the past five years.

Starbucks says that their support will enable the organisation to employ an additional helpline operator and extend its webchat service.

Susie Green, CEO of Mermaids, said: “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.”

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