News and Commentary

Starbucks Purchases Promoting Medical Pathway For ‘Transgender’ Children
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Starbucks is teaming up with an LGBT charity that advises “transgender” kids on their gender dysphoria, which can include connecting them to a pathway to medical services, such as hormone blockers and “gender affirming” surgeries.

Breaking: [Starbucks U.K.] is launching a £100,000+ partnership with trans equality charity [Mermaids Gender],” BBC LGBT correspondent Ben Hunte reported Friday.

“Starbucks will sell a ‘mermaid tail cookie’ and launch a national ad campaign promoting trans rights. The money will extend the Mermaids helpline,” Hunte added.

Mermaids charity, according to their website, “Provides families and young people with the tools they need to negotiate education and health services.” The charity does not specifically “offer advice on medical choices,” deferring instead to the NHS. “We do not offer advice on medical choices and defer to NHS advice in all cases,” the organization asserts.

However, the LGBT charity openly promotes medical “care” for transgender children, which includes hormone blockers that can sterilize children and “gender affirming surgeries”:

Supporting your child doesn’t mean they’ll take a particular direction or follow a particular medical pathway, like hormone therapy or gender affirming surgeries. Still, if they do, then medical transition in young people usually consists of taking hormone blockers after the initial stages of puberty. Hormone blockers stop the young person’s body changing in ways they don’t want it to at that time, in the hope it will alleviate any distress those changes may be causing them. Blockers simply give time for them to reflect; they can stop at any point and a puberty typically associated with the gender they were assigned at birth will resume. 

“Further medical steps can be taken via NHS specialists in a staged approach,” the charity says. “This is done with full knowledge, consent and guidance at every step of the way. Currently the NHS requires someone to be ‘around 16’ before they can commence on hormone replacement therapy. Some people then progress on to physical affirmation surgeries however, the NHS does not typically commission this for anyone under the age of 18.”

Starbucks, an international chain, recently dropped an ad centered around a transgender youth ordering their coffee with their new trans name, instead of their “dead-name,” meaning, the name their parents gave them at birth. 

“It was critical for us to tell ‘James’s story’ in an authentic way, so we spent time with people from the trans community who have experienced ‘dead-naming’ to make sure our work truly reflects their experiences,” said Amy Bryson, who is the managing partner at Iris, the creative agency Starbucks partnered with on the ad, according to Pink News.

“We hope the campaign will raise awareness about the importance of identity and acceptance in a time when hate crimes are on the rise,” added Bryson.

Mermaids describes itself as having “evolved into one of the UK’s leading LGBTQ+ charities, empowering thousands of people with its secure online communities, local community groups, helpline services, web resources, events and residential weekends,” the organization’s site states. “We also seek to educate and inform wider society on gender identity by helping professionals accommodate and reassure gender-variant young people.”