"It may seem like a small thing, but to a trans person it means everything."
Starbucks is making sure LGBT inclusivity in advertising is an all-year event and not just reserved for Pride month.
Social media has found a Starbucks UK television spot wherein a young trans man named James is having a rough time with people always calling him Jemma, the name he was apparently given at birth. Even his father is aloof.
He finds solace at Starbucks where baristas traditionally ask the customer's name and write in on the cup for identification. In the end, the coffee chain is the only place the young man can feel like his true self as the barista calls out James.
According to the Advocate, the YouTube synopsis states: “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."
The ad is a touching tribute to the struggles young trans men and women go through as they grow up. The U.K. trans advocacy group Mermaids is receiving a portion of the sales from fishtail shaped cookies being sold at locations around Europe.
“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 spot has already received Channel 4’s Diversity in Advertising Award and many people have praised its heartfelt message.
A viewer named Daniel wrote a response to the ad on Twitter, "As someone who is trans, I can not 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.