What is GenderCool? State Farm Cuts Ties With LGBTQ Program After Backlash

Insurance company State Farm said Monday that it would dissolve its relationship with The GenderCool Project, an organization that supports transgender and non-binary youth, after facing backlash from some customers.

The company said it would no longer support the organization after some customers and staff members became concerned that it was providing LGBTQ-themed books to schools and public libraries. The announcement comes amid a growing conservative movement in the U.S. to ban gender identity and LBGTQ topics from being discussed in school curriculums.

"State Farm's support of a philanthropic program, GenderCool, has been the subject of news and customer inquiries," the company said in a statement to reporters late Monday. "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."

The company added that it will "continue to explore how we can support organizations that provide tools and resources that align with our commitment to diversity and inclusion."

State Farm GenderCool
Insurance company State Farm said Monday that it is cutting ties with the GenderCool Project, a program that supports LGBTQ youth. Here, an LGBTQ pride flag is seen waving on June 7, 2008. WOJTEK RADWANSKI/AFP/Getty Images

The announcement came after a State Farm staffer reportedly leaked an internal email to the non-profit group Consumers' Research, which asked insurance agents in Florida to help donate books about transgender and non-binary representation for children aged 5 and up.

The email stated that its mission was to "help diversify classroom, community center and library bookshelves with a collection of books to help bring clarity and understanding to the national conversation about Being Transgender, Inclusive and Non-Binary." On its website, The GenderCool Project describes itself as a "youth-led movement bringing positive change to the world," with a goal to help "replace misinformed opinions with positive experiences meeting transgender and non-binary youth who are thriving."

The message to State Farm agents came after Florida's Republican-led government signed into law legislation that prohibits "classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity" for children aged 5 to 9. The law, dubbed by critics as the "Don't Say Gay" bill, has sparked a widespread national debate about family rights within education.

According to the bill's official text, it "reinforces a parent's fundamental right to make decisions regarding the care and upbringing of his or her child in the public school setting." Critics, however, have argued that legislation is "hateful" and contains broad language that will cause harm to LGBTQ+ students in school environments.

The legislation has led to widespread public school and employee walkouts and has even been denounced by major corporations such as Disney.

Newsweek contacted State Farm and The GenderCool Project for additional comment.