Starbucks' Holiday Cups Are Causing Controversy — Again

Photo: Courtesy of Starbucks.
We haven't even hit Thanksgiving yet, but stores are already rolling out all of their winter holiday decorations. Along with the Santa Claus and jingle bells onslaught, of course, comes a new holiday cup from Starbucks — and a new holiday cup controversy.
In 2015, the all-red cups caused a stir for "erasing" Christmas — because it's not like other winter holidays exist, right? And when green "unity" cups were released last year (ahead of 13 different red cups), many people said the cups were too political and also that using green cups was basically like launching a "war on Christmas."
This year, the cups are apparently promoting a #gayagenda. Now, I won't pretend that gay agendas aren't a real thing — after all, I'm gay and I have an agenda, which currently includes downloading enough Netflix movies to get through the impossibly long bus ride to my grandmother's house — but I can't exactly see what the "gay agenda" is here.
The cups don't even show gay people; they just show two disembodied hands holding each other. There's no possible way for us to know the genders of those two hands, so how exactly is this gay?
According to the critics, those two hands belong to the cartoon women who were spotlighted on Starbucks' cute holiday commercial — two women who seem to go in for a kiss, although their lips never actually touch.
Let's take a second to look at those two women, though. If you compare what they're wearing in the video to the hands on the cup, it's pretty clear that they're not the same hands. So, again, we can't know the genders of those hands. Maybe they are gay — I certainly prefer to think of it that way — but there's no way to know that for sure.
It's pretty obvious that this "controversy" is another ridiculous reason for conservative, homophobic people to boycott Starbucks, which isn't trying to erase Christmas by recognizing that other winter holidays exist or turn straight people gay by leaving the genders of two hands on a cup up to your imagination.
Even if the Starbucks employees who created this cup did have a gay agenda, though, it's no reason to boycott the company. The thing is, gay people exist and we like coffee, too. Even though the holiday cup hands have no gender and the women in the commercial never actually kiss, I'm glad to see more and more mainstream companies like Starbucks acknowledge my existence. It's about time.
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produced by Brianna Donnelly; edited by Laura Conte.
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