Costa Coffee threatened with boycott over a single cartoon drawing of a trans man

Composite image of illustration of trans man drinking a coffee, combined with stock image of Costa Coffee cup

The hashtag #BoycottCostaCoffee has been shared widely on social media after one of its cafés was pictured featuring an illustration of a person with top surgery scars.

A photo of a Costa Express was seen with a cartoon character proudly displaying top surgery scars and blue hair drinking a coffee, with the cartoon predictably causing “gender-critical” voices to threaten to boycott the coffee chain. 

Anti-trans campaigner Maya Forstater linked the image to “self-harm”, despite top surgery being found to improve young trans people’s quality of life.

Forstater, who in 2022 won an employment tribunal which found she was discriminated against due to her “gender-critical” beliefs, said: “The main issue here is promoting and glamourising self-harm and the idea that young women should have their breasts removed”. 

Trans-inclusive group LGBWithTheT explained that the advert showed that widespread support for the trans community is becoming “more and more clear”.

“Have you noticed no matter how hard the haters bash their bigot bong… The support becomes more and more clear for all to see,” the group said on Twitter.

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One Twitter user added that the illustration was a “great advertisement” for Costa.

“Saw Costa was trending. Turned out it’s because they have an illustration of a trans masc person and all the bigots are losing their minds about trans people existing,” the user said. 

A Costa spokesman said in a statement to The Times: “At Costa Coffee we celebrate the diversity of our customers, team members and partners.

“We want everyone that interacts with us to experience the inclusive environment that we create, to encourage people to feel welcomed, free and unashamedly proud to be themselves.

“The mural, in its entirety, showcases and celebrates inclusivity.”

The brand has previously shown support for the LGBTQ+ community, in 2022 teaming up with the charity Switchboard LGBT+ Helpline ahead of Pride month.

The boycott threat is reminiscent of anti-trans backlash to other brands in recent months, with Wickes facing a boycott after it made its support for the trans community clear, stating transphobes aren’t welcome in its stores.

Bud Light faced furious backlash after it collaborated with trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney, with anti-trans campaigners smashing Bud Light displays in stores, refusing to sell the beer brand, and in the case of Kid Rock, shooting Bud Light cans with an assault weapon.

PinkNews has contacted Costa Coffee for comment.