A recently-released Starbucks advertisement in the UK has been hailed for its progressive take on gender identity acceptance. A barista asks for the name of a customer for use on a coffee cup. He gives her the name with which he identifies – not his “deadname,” the one he was given at birth. The commercial has won an award for helping to address the transgender community’s lack of representation in advertising.
However, employees with the company say they have faced transgender discrimination at multiple locations across the country. Employees say they have been outed, misgendered, confronted by their deadnames in company software and had difficulty accessing gender-affirming medical treatment under the company’s medical insurance plans.
Some employees say they had to be transferred to new locations due to these issues and harassment – only to experience the same type of treatment at the new location. One former employee told BuzzFeed he complained about the situation to corporate, but didn’t hear any response until he took his complaint to Twitter. It was only then a spokesperson for the company apologized and promised to investigate. The worker said that while the company appears to be trying to make changes at the corporate level, addressing it at individual stores has proven challenging. Continue reading