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Extreme makeover

Transgenderism | Starbucks covers cosmetic surgery for transgender employees
by Harvest Prude
Posted 7/06/18, 03:23 pm

Starbucks recently expanded its benefits to cover additional procedures for transgender employees, including cosmetic changes, the company announced late last month.

The company has covered sex change surgery since 2012 and will now include breast augmentation or reduction, hair transplants, facial feminization, and electrolysis.

Starbucks called the new benefits life-saving. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s 2014 report, 41 percent of 6,500 transgender persons attempted suicide versus 4.6 percent of the overall population. The researchers noticed that higher rates of suicide correlated with those who wanted surgery and speculated a factor may be “distress related to barriers to obtaining transition-related health care.”

But no studies have yet shown that sex change surgery improves suicide rates for transgender people. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention did not ask questions about the timing of suicide attempts and “were unable to determine whether suicidal behavior is significantly reduced following transition-related surgeries,” the study’s authors wrote. A long-term study in Sweden found that 10 to 15 years after sex change surgery, study participants had a suicide rate nearly 20 times that of comparable peers.

That hasn’t stopped Starbucks and other employers from positioning themselves as champions for transgender people. Starbucks benefit director Alyssa Brock called the new coverage “true to our mission and values of nurturing the human spirit.”

Since 2011, The Human Rights Campaign has pushed corporations to offer transgender-inclusive insurance plans in order to score perfectly on the Corporate Equality Index. The plan must include options for either paid leave, counseling, hormone therapy, or transition surgery.

In 2002, zero companies surveyed by HRC offered transgender-related coverage compared to 750 companies, or 79 percent, in 2018.

Mattel Mattel Robotics engineer Barbie

No more pink and blue?

Mattel launched a new line of robotics engineer Barbies on June 26 to represent girls taking on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) careers.

“We wanted to shine a light on this underrepresented career and field for women,” Lisa McKnight, Barbie’s general manager and senior vice president, said in an interview with Glamour.

These dolls represent a recent trend toward toys that defy gender stereotypes or even the existence of distinct genders.

In the 2017 BBC documentary No More Boys and Girls, physician Javid Abdelmoneim experimented with removing gender distinctions from an elementary school classroom. The BBC website described a scene in which a leading UK neurologist informed the viewers that the brain does not not distinguish between males and females. Instead, it is “a plastic organ, shaped and molded by experiences, in which childhood is key.”

What does this mean for parents? Gender-neutral toys “help counteract some stereotypes that limit children’s thinking about what and who they can and should be,” Ann Barbour, professor emerita of Early Childhood Education Charter College of Education, told

“Let Toys Be Toys” is a campaign in the U.K. that promotes toys and books that reverse gender stereotypes. In December, the group published a gift guide for books supporting their worldview, which included titles like Sleeping Handsome and the Princess Engineer. In that version of Sleeping Beauty, the princess rescues the sleeping prince. Another book on the gift guide featured a character called “Spacegirl” and her two moms.

While Christians should lead the charge against true sexism, parents must be careful to train their children in a Biblical view of gender: that God created male and female with distinct biologies and roles.

“We love children, and we want them to flourish,” said Denny Burk, author of multiple books about Biblical sexual ethics. “In today’s climate, that means parents have to be vigilant even over the toys that children play with, especially when those toys send messages contrary to the Biblical ones they are teaching at home.” —Charissa Crotts Willey Willey

A same-sex royal wedding

The British royal family in late June announced the first same-sex royal wedding. Lord Ivar Mountbatten will marry James Coyle later this summer, just a few months after Meghan Markle, the bride of Prince Harry, became the first biracial American woman to wed a member of the royal family.

Mountbatten is a distant cousin of Queen Elizabeth and the great-great-great grandson of Queen Victoria. In 2016, Mountbatten was the first member of the extended British royal family to publicly come out as gay after divorcing his wife, Penny, in 2011. At the suggestion of their three daughters, who range in age from 15 to 22, Penny Mountbatten will walk her ex-husband down the aisle at the ceremony on his estate in southwest England.

Mountbatten told The Daily Mail the marriage has the support of the royal family, though Queen Elizabeth and her immediate family are not expected to attend. The Succession to the Crown Act of 2013 requires the six people closest in the line for the British throne to seek permission from the ruling monarch to marry, but the act does not apply to extended members of the family such as Mountbatten. —H.P.

Associated Press/Photo by Dan Steinberg (file) Associated Press/Photo by Dan Steinberg (file) Kylie Jenner in 2010

Fair for whom?

Are children of transgender people allowed to share memories from before their parent transitioned?

Kylie Jenner learned the answer when she posted online an old photo with her dad, former Olympic athlete Bruce Jenner, for Father’s Day. Jenner, who has lived as a woman named Caitlyn since 2015, has six children from three previous marriages. With permission, the kids kept calling Jenner “Dad” after the transition.

Kylie’s Instagram followers reacted strongly. Some called her disrespectful and asked why she didn’t post a more current photo. “No offense,” said one comment. “But you should respect HER and not … post before her transition.”

Others sympathized with Kylie: “These are her memories growing up. … She had no pictures growing up with Caitlyn … give her a break.”

Culture says calling someone by the name or gender they chose to change is rude, but asking someone to erase their happy childhood memories is hardly loving, either. —C.C.

Harvest Prude

Harvest is a political reporter for WORLD's Washington Bureau. She is a World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College graduate. Harvest resides in Washington, D.C. Follow her on Twitter @HarvestPrude.

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  • Marc Mertens
    Posted: Sat, 07/07/2018 02:40 am

    Shouldn't Kylie call her father now "Fathster"? How completely out of our mind must we get to accept this utter nonsense?

    I guess I am extremely disrespectful when I say it is blasphemy to change the Godgiven nature we have. It just depends on who we should respect: our Creator, who gave us life, or creatures, who think they have to correct what He made wrong in their eyes.

    If a man tries to become a woman, science can help him to a certain extent. But he will never become a woman in full and now his whole surrounding must be reorganised to give him the feeling that they respect him for what he has done. Sorry but I can not respect such a decision. God's word is clear on this. (Romans 1: 18-30). This morning I read Ezekiel 19-24. If I see how God acted with His chosen people, what can we expect if we don't turn from our wicked ways? All that is left is His Wrath and I am amazed about His longsuffering and patience for us. May He grant us open eyes. If there is one thing that should be changed, it is not our sexe, but our wicked heart and there is only One who can do that. It is our Lord Jesus Christ, by the atonement at the cross. We don't need operations and hormones for that, but to obeye His word by His grace. May our Lord be merciful on our Communities and countries



  • RC
    Posted: Mon, 07/09/2018 10:12 am

    Marc, The folly of humanity is to think they can be God. It does not matter what Starbucks does, the suicide rate will not drop by changing the external with science.  Science has nothing to do with the pridefull warped view that comes from the human heart, which is the source of the problem. Only Jesus can solve the heart problem, we all have to face.   

  • Marc Mertens
    Posted: Sat, 07/07/2018 03:06 pm

    It's a sad thing that that I am the only one commenting on this. It looks like it is not something that keeps us busy.

    For a bad thing to happen it takes only a great silent majority.


  • E Cole
    Posted: Sat, 07/07/2018 10:49 pm

    Oh please tell me we are not implying that dolls portraying women with STEM careers “send messages contrary to the Biblical ones” about gender roles.  Women studying science are not removing pink and blue from God's world.

  • RS
    Posted: Sun, 07/08/2018 02:51 pm

    I believe, Marc’s comments were referring to Kylie Jenner’s experience, not the new Barbie doll. If that is the correct reading, Marc, I wholeheartedly agree with you. I feel sad for Kylie and the fall-out she has to deal with from her father’s choice.

  • E Cole
    Posted: Sun, 07/08/2018 10:41 pm

    My remarks were not directed at Marc - sorry if that was not clear. I agree that Kylie should receive our compassion. My complaint was with the story above with the picture of dolls that I think are a lot more appropriate toys than the Barbies we had growing up. If the writer is implying they are not, I think that is very offensive. And if that was not the intention, why use that photo and that lead in? That is what I take issue with - nothing to do with the Kylie story which, I agree, is sad. Four different stories and only one place to comment so it isn't always clear what is driving the comments I suppose.



  • Laura W
    Posted: Mon, 07/09/2018 08:54 pm

    Maybe the quote they had available only mentioned toys. Some of those books might be problematic (at least the one about two moms), but the quote about toys does seem a little out of place here.

  •  Xion's picture
    Posted: Mon, 07/09/2018 01:51 am

    Watching Starbucks' inner angst over being perceived as anything but the world's most progressive company is a bit like watching a dog chasing its tail.  Next up: transhumanism and rights for people who think they are squirrels and dragons.  In a world that accepts a grandfather's gender identifying as a 7 year old girl, nothing subjective will be off limits.  They will imagine any alternative reality that opposes God.  (Rom 1:21)  How shall Christians respond?  Let it be with grace and truth.

  • Narissara
    Posted: Thu, 07/12/2018 11:30 am

    I’m a little troubled by the correlation drawn between Prince Harry’s marriage to Meghan Markle and Lord Mountbatten’s to his partner.  There is really only one race, Adam’s race; the fact that the new Duchess of Sussex has dark skin should be a non-issue.  Certainly, had the Crown chosen to deny permission for the marriage to go forward, that would not have been a legitimate reason.  On the other hand, if marriage is defined as a covenant between one man and one woman, Lord Mountbatten and his partner are clearly not eligible, but since he is too far removed from the line of succession to have to seek permission, why is it news?