A new ad captures the quiet triumph of a transgender teen hearing his name being called as he picks up his coffee at Starbucks.
The spot, part of the “What’s your name?” campaign for Starbucks, will air in the U.K. and online.
Partnering with the U.K. trans youth organization Mermaids, the coffee giant will also sell limited-edition mermaid cookies to raise up to £100,000 ($130,000) for the group.
The ad follows James as people throughout his day dead name him. On his school ID card, by family members, even at his doctor’s office.
But when he orders his coffee at a Starbucks, he’s asked his name.
“It’s James,” we hear the teen reply.
A moment later, the employee calls out the name “James,” and the brief smile says it all.
From Starbucks UK:
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.
We’re proud to support Mermaids, a charity supporting young transgender and gender diverse people and their families. If you need to speak to someone, you can find their helpline here: http://mermaidsuk.org.uk
Several folks expressed their support for the ad spot on Twitter along with some of their own stories:
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.
— Daniel (@Daniel83522138) February 2, 2020
Cried happy tears watching that advert. Made me feel all those feelings the first time someone said my name. 🥰❤🧡💛💚💙💜🤎🖤
— Aiden BEM (@GeekyMonkey_85) February 2, 2020
This was from 2 years ago at Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam. It was such a beautifully written confirmation of who I am.Fab to see @Mermaids_Gender being supported👍 #WhatsYourName pic.twitter.com/DpD2Etitrf
— Rachel Harper (@Harperexpress) February 3, 2020
As someone who is trans I can’t express how much this campaign means. Loved to know when the cookie is available! #WhatsYourName
— leo the hamster dad 🐹 (@sipping_theT) February 2, 2020