May 21, 2023

Starbucks: What a coffee ad reveals about transphobia in India

That's why a recent Starbucks ad about parents rekindling ties with their adult daughter - a transgender woman - has touched a chord with many. This isn't the first ad to spark a conversation around the transgender community in India. India has an estimated two million transgender people. The recently concluded Lakme Fashion Week - one of India's biggest and most respectable fashion events - had two transgender women and a non-binary person in its pool of models for the first time, and they walked the ramp for some of India's top designers. "Seeing someone from the community in a Starbucks commercial or on the cover of a fashion magazine means a lot. These are traditionally upmarket, elitist spaces so being represented here signals a shift in the way transgender people are portrayed and the spaces they're allowed to occupy," she says.

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