Auto and home insurance giant State Farm has encouraged hundreds of employees to donate books promoting transgenderism to young children to their local schools and libraries, according to an email leaked by a whistleblower.
The email, obtained by nonprofit organization Consumers’ Research, states that the company partnered with transgender youth advocacy group The GenderCool Project in a campaign “to help diversify classroom, community center, and library bookshelves” with a collection of books centered on the “national conversation about Being Transgender, Inclusive and Non-Binary.”
“The project’s goal is to increase representation of LGBTQ+ books and support our communities in having challenging, important and empowering conversations with children Age 5+,” Jose Soto, a corporate responsibility analyst for State Farm in Florida, wrote in the email dated Jan. 18.
One of the three books The GenderCool Project sought to promote is “A Kids Book About Being Transgender,” which encourages readers as young as 5 to “shake off whatever confusion, skepticism, concern, or biases you may have” about “transgender kids.” The book suggests that a child’s feeling that he or she is of a different gender should be validated rather than challenged, arguing that feelings sometimes “work more like our intuition or insight” that “allow us to understand something without having to think about it.”
“One day I look up ‘boy who feels like girl’ and found stories of people who were just like me,” the book reads. “That’s the first time I heard the word transgender. I realized I wasn’t alone. The feeling I had been a girl finally made sense.”
In the email, Soto asked for six State Farm insurance agents in Florida to volunteer to participate in the program by “receiving these books in March, then donating them to their community by the end of April.”
“Agents are key to the success of this program,” the email read. “Nationwide, approximately 550 State Farm agents and employees will have the opportunity to donate this 3-book bundle to their local teacher, community center or library of their choice.”
“Along with donating the books, we would encourage the agent to highlight our commitment to diversity on their social media pages,” it added. “This is a fantastic way to give back and an easy project that will help support the LGBTQ+ community and to make the world around us better.”
In a statement to the Washington Examiner, which first reported the matter, State Farm defended the voluntary program, saying that it is “strictly voluntary.”
“We embrace diversity and inclusion because it‘s the right thing to do. We work with a variety of organizations and causes that express their own unique views, and support civil and open dialogue on challenging topics,” the company said.
State Farm later announced it no longer supports the book donation program.
The GenderCool Project describes itself as “a youth-led movement bringing positive change to the world.” The organization’s website highlights a group of young transgender or gender non-conforming “Champions,” who are “helping replace misinformed opinions with positive experiences meeting transgender and non-binary youth who are thriving.”
GenderCool lists a number of high profile companies other than State Farm as its partners and supporters, including Adobe, Dell, Oracle, Intel, HP, Bayer, Nike, Bank of America, Capital One, Indeed, and NBC Universal. The group says it engages with partners in “six powerful ways,” such as speaking events, mentorship programs, DEI/HR consulting, and advising for parents of transgender children.