Former Starbucks Employee Reveals She Was Fired For Expressing Concerns Pride Month “Pronoun Board”

Sarah Fields

A young woman in North Carolina has come forward to allege she was terminated from her job at Starbucks for her unashamedly Christian religious beliefs. Speaking to The Publica, Taylor Marie Trice says she began experiencing backlash at her work after standing firm in her Christianity.

While the incident occurred in 2022, Trice recently uploaded a video to TikTok revealing what had happened after becoming comfortable enough to finally speak about her ordeal. The video quickly attracted viral attention and thousands of comments.

In her video, Trice explained that she had been employed at Starbucks for two years, but that during Pride Month in 2022 tensions at her work came to a head when she expressed reluctance about some of the store’s activities.

“June came around, and as we all know, June is the month of tasting the rainbow. I had been working at Starbucks for about two years at that point. I was used to Starbucks putting up their [pride] decorations and stuff during the month of June. And throughout that time, no one had ever made a complaint about me being homophobic, transphobic, whatever,” she says in the video.

She goes on to explain that she is “not judging anyone,” but that she simply did not want to be compelled to go along with activities she disagreed with.

According to Trice, Starbucks had placed a glass wall display next to the cash register. On the wall, different “sexual attraction definitions” were written in marker. The board described sexual orientations such as demisexual, omnisexual, or asexual. A partner chalk board was also placed on display, labeled “let’s talk about pronouns,” and included an extensive description of pronouns including “neo-pronouns” which included “Ze/Zim, Xe/Xum” and more. 

Two of the boards that had been placed in Trice’s workplace during Pride month 2022. Photos courtesy of Taylor Marie Trice.

“I did not shame them for it, but I told them that they have to be careful,” she said. “We have families walking in here and kids are going to read that. And I specifically said, even if the glass wall described heterosexual, I just did not feel like this needed to be added to the decorations!”

Trice said that co-workers began to get defensive, and accused her of being a “homophobic Christian.” Starbucks soon after enforced a policy that stated that if someone was transgender, you must refer to them by their preferred pronouns. 

“I was willing to call someone by their name, I was willing to avoid using pronouns. But it is against my faith to lie, even if it’s the smallest lie. If I say that you are a man and I call you a woman, that is lying, and that is identifying you as something that God did not create you to be.” 

Trice ended the video by stating: “My store manager came to me and said that I needed to speak with them and the district manager, they told me that there were complaints made about me and that I was doing things that are homophobic.” She was then terminated. 

The Publica reached out to Trice, and the young woman revealed that she had never received a write up prior to her termination. She told The Publica that the official reason for termination was “disrespect for sexual orientation/identity.” Trice attempted to obtain copies of the termination documents, but faced consistent obstacles.

“I was fired because my faith was not considered a justifiable reason to not use preferred pronouns. There were complaints made that I was being negative about the glass wall, when I only gave them a warning about how it would be seen and said it’s not about homophobia,” she said. “People said they felt like I was uncomfortable with their identity when I never made any insults to them about their sexual orientation or mistreated them.”

Trice says she had sought a job at the Starbucks in order to secure a tuition reimbursement, and hadn’t previously known much about the company’s radically left values.

“I hadn’t ordered Starbucks before and didn’t know what the heck a latte or Frappuccino was until I was taught while working there. It wasn’t until the hiring process that I noticed. I stayed there to get as much tuition reimbursement as I could and be a representative of Jesus before my time was up there. I disagreed with certain discussions that went opposite of my views but things remained cordial up until I got fired.”

But losing her job didn’t faze her, and Trice is currently upbeat about her situation and future.

“I’ll be fine. I have been blessed with other jobs since then and currently work as a house cleaner,” she says. “I know God will provide for me.”

The Publica reached out to the district responsible for the franchise Trice had been employed at, but was unable to obtain a comment from manager Heather Allard. Allard then redirected The Publica to the Starbucks Media Relations Team, which was unresponsive.

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Sarah Fields

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