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Starbucks baristas chip in to help their trans coworker change his name

Starbucks baristas chip in to help their trans coworker change his name
Posted at 9:35 AM, Mar 15, 2024

A Starbucks barista got a surprising birthday present from his coworkers: the opportunity to change his name legally to match his gender.

Matthew, a transgender barista in Michigan, shared a post on Reddit explaining how his coworkers at his Starbucks location all chipped in money to help Matthew legally change his name.

“I am transgender and currently work full time for Starbucks,” he wrote on the Reddit post. “I have savings but it’s never been enough to justify paying to get my name legally changed, but for my birthday this year my co-workers all came together and pooled money to give to me to get it changed! This is literally the nicest thing anyone has done for me and it certainly made me smile.”

Matthew also shared a photo of himself on Reddit, in which he looks absolutely amazed at his co-workers’ heartfelt generosity.

My coworkers all came together and gave me the money to finally change my name legally for my birthday
byu/Not_A_Cowboy2003 inMadeMeSmile

According to the National Center for Transgender Equality, only 21% of transgender people have been able to fully update all of their identification documents, and one-third of transgender people have not updated them at all.

A number of factors contribute to the obstacles transgender people face when they want to change their identification records, including the fact that multiple documents need to be updated (driver’s license, passport, social security, birth certificate, etc.) and the costs associated with many of those.

Newsweek reported the cost of a name change can go up to $500, depending on where someone lives. When you add that to the other document fees, medical care and everyday expenses, a legal name change isn’t always possible for transgender people.

Matthew told Newsweek he’s wanted to make the legal change for a while. However, the extra money to file the paperwork couldn’t take priority in his budget.

When his co-workers presented him the birthday card with the collected funds to help him with his name change, he said he was “blown away” by their willingness to help him reach this important milestone.

“It’s not like I didn’t have the money to do so, but I’m very anxious about spending my money because I was homeless for six months following moving out of my parents’ house at 18,” Matthew said to Newsweek. “The fact that they all thought of me and surprised me with it was so amazing and really put into perspective how much they all mean to me. And how much I mean to them.”

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