Citibank's new trans-inclusive campaign will have real world impact & should encourage other companies toward action-oriented allyship

For Trans Awareness Week, Citi has announced a new feature that will enable their transgender and non-binary customers to update their chosen first name on eligible credit cards. This launch, in conjunction with Mastercard, allows existing credit card customers to request a new credit card with their chosen first name. Additionally, in the coming weeks, customers will be referred to by their chosen first names when calling customer service and throughout the company's various online and mobile access points.

According to the National Center for Transgender Equality, almost 70% of trans people don't have even one identity document that reflects the name they use in their daily lives, and only about 20% have been able to update all their legal documents due to a complicated and prohibitively expensive process. The results from NCTE's survey also indicates that when someone's name and gender is incongruent with their identity documents, they are more likely to experience violence and harassment or be denied service. This move from Citi will help trans and non-binary people better navigate the world as themselves.

Citi recently launched a significant marketing campaign promoting the new feature, which was created by Publicis, in partnership with GLAAD. The 360-campaign marks a meaningful extension of Citi’s commitment to advocating for and supporting LGBTQ+ equality. “At Citi, we are passionate about helping to ensure our customers feel recognized, accepted and empowered to be their true selves. We're incredibly proud to launch the True Name feature, through our relationship with Mastercard, because we strongly believe that our customers should have the opportunity to be called by the name that represents who they really are,” said Carla Hassan, Citi Chief Marketing Officer.

The print, digital, and outdoor campaign includes photographs of a diverse group of trans people. Citi also released a national broadcast spot, shot by cinematographer Bianca Cline and featuring actor Asha Doucet, both of whom are trans, in which a young Black trans man and his girlfriend are in the process of finding a name that best represents him.

Watch the ad here:

“The fact [that] Citi is allowing trans and non-binary people to get that validation and to feel seen by allowing name changes on their cards is amazing...Not much feels better than being acknowledged for who you are,” Doucet shared.

The response to the initiative has already exceeded expectations with more than 1,800 Citi customers requesting a name update on their cards within the first weeks of the program's launch. Citi is the largest U.S. card issuers to launch Mastercard's True Name feature, which rolled out last year.

For more information about the initiative, visit here, and learn 10 tips for how to be a better ally to trans people on Citi's content website Life and Money by Citi.