An advertisement released by the United Kingdom branch of the coffee giant Starbucks depicts a girl who identifies as a boy finding satisfaction when she has her new male name written on her cup — since everyone else in her life still refers to her by her birth name.
The company says in a page dedicated to its #whatsyourname campaign that the effort “celebrates [the] signature act [of writing the customer’s name on their cup] and the significance it can have for some transgender and gender diverse people as they use their new name in public.”
The advertisement shows a teenage girl visiting a web page and being asked for her first name, which causes her anxiety. When a package is delivered at the door, the courier says that it is for “Jemma Miller.”
In another scene, the phone rings and on the other end is a woman who asks if she is speaking to Jemma. While riding a bus, the girl looks down at her student identification to note that it reads “Jemma Miller.” Her father also introduces her as Jemma at a social outing.
The scene soon cuts to Miller standing in front of a Starbucks counter, where she is asked for her name. “It’s James,” she says.
She smiles as the name James is called when her coffee is ready, with the name also written on the cup.
Starbucks UK posted the video to social media on Sunday, and the advertisement is also expected to air on television in England. Starbucks UK has also posted other videos on its YouTube page that feature those who identify as transgender talking about about how they decided on their new name.
The recordings are part of the #whatsyourname campaign, which is a collaboration with the transgender youth advocacy group Mermaids. The company plans on selling a special edition mermaid cookie at its UK locations to raise money for the organization, with a goal of 100,000 pounds — just under $130K USD.
“Since our beginnings, Starbucks has been a values-led company and we continue to work towards creating a warm and inclusive Third Place,” it writes on a page dedicated to the campaign. “We work to bring our mission to life by creating an equitable, diverse and inclusive culture: in our workplace, our communities, and in our stores.”
“The advert, created in partnership with creative agency Iris, was inspired by real life experiences of people who were transitioning. We discovered that they found Starbucks stores to be a safe space, where their new name was accepted, and they could be recognized as who they are,” the company outlines. “We were moved to discover that individuals find our stores a safe space to try out their new names when transitioning.”
As previously reported, while some view transgenderism as a medical condition, Christians believe the matter as a spiritual issue — one that stems from the same predicament all men everywhere face without Christ.
The Bible teaches that all are born with the Adamic sin nature, having various inherent feelings and inclinations that are contrary to the law of God, and being utterly incapable of changing by themselves.
It is why Jesus came: to “save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).
Scripture outlines that Jesus came to be the propitiation for men’s sins (1 John 2:2; 1 John 4:10), a doctrine in Christianity known as substitutionary atonement, and to save men from the wrath of God for their violations against His law (Romans 4:25, Romans 5:9, Romans 5:16), a doctrine known as justification.
The Bible also teaches about regeneration, as in addition to sparing guilty men from eternal punishment, Christ sent his Holy Spirit to make those who would repent and believe the gospel new creatures in the here and now, with new desires and an ability to do what is pleasing in the sight of God by His indwelling and empowerment (Ezekiel 11:19, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Titus 3:5).
Jesus said that men must be born again, and have their very nature transformed by the Spirit from being in Adam to being in Christ, or they cannot see the Kingdom of God (John 3:3-8).
Ephesians 4:17-24 also exhorts regarding the old man versus the new man, “This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart, who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.”
“But ye have not so learned Christ. If so be that ye have heard Him, and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus, that ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”