Following a day of backlash from customers, State Farm Insurance has dropped its support for a project that placed “transgender, inclusive and non-binary” children’s books in classrooms, libraries and community centers.
The company partnered with The GenderCool Project, a “transgender and non-binary” youth activist organization to donate books, for children ages five and up, written by GenderCool spokespeople.
LGBT activists are now angry with the company, even though State Farm still supports a variety of LGBT activist groups, including those that target children and teens.
Will Hild, executive director of Consumers First, who first broke the story, said dropping support for the project is not enough.
In an email statement to the Daily Citizen, the insurance giant said:
State Farm’s support of a philanthropic program, GenderCool, has been the subject of news and customer inquiries. This program that included books about gender identity was intended to promote inclusivity.
We support organizations that provide resources for parents to have conversations about gender and identity with their children at home. We do not support required curriculum in schools on this topic.
As a result, we have made the decision we will no longer be affiliated with the organization. We will continue to explore how we can support our associates, as well as organizations that align with our commitment to diversity and inclusion, including the LGBTQ+ community.
We recognize and value the diversity of all people and support a culture of respect and inclusion in the communities in which we live and work, as well as our workplace.
An email from State Farm Chief Diversity Officer Victor Terry, posted at Libs of TikTok, explained to agents why the program was ending:
Conversations about gender and identity should happen at home with parents. We don’t support required curriculum in schools on this topic. We support organizations providing resources for parents to have these conversations.
He suggested the company take the following steps:
1.) Assign an external, third party to audit their program and get to the bottom of this breach of trust by State Farm.
2.) Determine every school, public library, and community center where the books were donated.
3.) Publish the results and notify parents in the areas where books were made available to children.
The company denied that it had placed books in schools. But this was untrue, as a letter to Florida State Farm agents specifically described donating books to both teachers and classrooms.
The Examiner also pointed to a Facebook post from Seabury School, in Oregon, thanking the company for the book donation:
Through a partnership of State Farm and The Gender Cool Project, State Farm purchased 100 book collections, which includes 3 books: “A Kid’s Guide to Being Inclusive”, “A Kid’s Guide to Being Transgender”, and “A Kid’s Guide to Being Non-binary”. The intent is to distribute these book collections to schools across the country who would be open to keeping them available in their library.
On behalf of State Farm PRIDE and one of our new school families, Seabury was selected to receive one of these collections!
LGBT activists were angered by the insurance company’s backtrack. David Badash, editor in chief at The New Civil Rights Movement, a “progressive” and LGBT activist outlet, told the company to “Find a spine.”
Badash noted, “Over the past year, insurance giant State Farm has posted ten tweets supporting LGBTQ people, programs, and organizations, as recently as last week.”
But when the company retreated from its transgender book program, he and other LGBT activists were upset. He quoted LGBT activist Parker Molloy, who tweeted, “Since the company is so clearly and easily moved by public backlash, State Farm customers should call their agent and cancel their policies.”
“So congrats, State Farm. You managed to find a way to make *everyone* mad,” Molloy added, calling the company a “cowardly company run by cowardly people.”
Charlotte Clymer, who was born male, but describes himself as a lesbian, called the company “cowards” who “got scared and decided it’s more important to placate anti-LGBTQ extremists than stand beside the LGBTQ community in a moment of horrific uncertainty.”
The “horrific uncertainty” evidently comes from pro-family groups who want to protect children from a highly sexualized and confusing ideology; work to preserve girls and women’s sports for biological females; and support parental rights in education.
LGBT activists and their allies hardly need fret. State Farm lists its support of five LGBT activist organizations, including the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN).
The organization sponsors various LGBT days and weeks in schools, says it has a national network of more than 1.5 million students, families and educators, provides resources for students and educators, and boasts a network of thousands of “Gender and Sexuality Alliances” and “Rainbow Clubs” in schools across the country.
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