Costa Coffee is facing a boycott after a “shocking” cartoon advert of a trans man after a double mastectomy was spotted on the side of a van.
The cartoon emblazoned on the side of a Costa Express van showed a recently transitioned man in a surfing pose with large lips, blue hair and scars symbolising a breast removal operation.
There was a fierce backlash on social media as the image circulated.
Twitter users complained about the cartoon under the #BoycottCostaCoffee.
A general view of a Costa Coffee signPA
The British coffeehouse, which refused to say exactly where the van is located, was even accused of “glorifying irreversible surgery”.
Thoughtful Therapists co-founder James Esses said on Twitter: “Dear Costa Coffee, could you kindly explain why you are glorifying irreversible surgery performed on healthy breasts of women for a mental health condition?”
Sex Matters board member Maya Forstater also told The Telegraph: “The cartoon-like picture of a young woman who has had her breasts surgically removed is shocking and irresponsible.
“Young women are being sold a lie that if they have their breasts removed and take hormones they can become men or at least avoid being women.”
Conservative commentator Toby Young added: “Costa Coffee has provoked a furious backlash from gender critical feminists for displaying a cartoon ‘transman’ with mastectomy scars on the side of its vans in an effort to advertise how cool it is. Time for a boycott?”
Despite receiving a barrage of criticism on social media, Costa Coffee defended its decision to use the ‘transman’ cartoon.
A Costa Coffee spokesman said: “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.
Toby Young during the Channel 4 EU referendum debate.
“The mural in its entirety, showcases and celebrates inclusivity.”
Other companies have been criticised for wading in on the trans debate.
Nike faced a backlash in April after paying transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney, 26, to model one of its sports bras.
Bud Light also came under fire from conservative activists after Mulvaney shared sponsored posts of the beer brand on Instagram.