Starbuck partnered with Mermaids, a London-based foundation that supports gender-diverse children with its launch of #WhatsYourName campaign.
“The campaign celebrates this signature act and the significance it can have for some transgender and gender diverse people as they use their new name in public,” the company said in a recent press release. “Learning each customer’s name and calling it out with his or her order creates a moment of connection between our baristas and customers. We were moved to discover that individuals find our stores a safe space to try out their new names when transitioning.”
Starbucks will sell limited editions of “mermaid tail” cookies in selected stores across the UK. Fifty pence from every cookie sold will go towards Mermaids to fund its helpline. According to a Mermaids press release, “For some people, this was the first time they’d heard someone else [recognizing] their true identity.”
Mermaids frequents the news headlines. The organization is working to reverse the age limit when minors can receive hormone therapy to transition. The goal of hormone therapy and sex reassignment therapy is to change the sexual attributes of transgender people from masculine to feminine or vice versa. The risks of taking hormones may cause cardiovascular problems, heart attacks, diabetes Type 2, bone density loss, weight gain and could increase the risk of cancer in some patients.
Susie Green, CEO of Mermaids, helped her son have a full gender reassignment surgery in Thailand at age 16. The legal age in the UK for reassignment surgery is 18 with a period of assessment. “We believe it should be in line with the young person’s maturity and their ability to understand what’s involved and the implications of what treating and not treating are,” she said in an interview with The Guardian in 2016.
However, many people are concerned with the doctrine abroad and in America.
“We are living in a culture of affirmation,” said Dr. Andre Van Mol, a board-certified family physician during a discussion on “Transgender Movement: Separating Facts from Fiction” at the Value Voters Conference in 2019. “A child’s prefrontal cortex doesn’t mature until they are 23 or 25 years of age and that’s the brain’s judgment and inhibition center. The amygdala is the primary emotional center and that’s not mature in a teenager either, nor is the connection to the frontal lobe fully developed. That means kids think, but they tend to think emotionally,” he said.
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