This college student’s gender neutral bathroom selfies will make your day
If you’re feeling depressed about the rampant homophobia and transphobia surrounding the bathroom debate, here’s a story that will help restore your faith in humanity — a student’s gender neutral bathroom selfies have gone viral, and the responses will make your day. Julissa Emile, a student at Wheelock College in Boston, took the photos while attending a poetry slam competition in Chicago with her school’s slam team.
During a break, Emile and her friends headed to a gender neutral bathroom to take some group selfies. She posted the bathroom selfies photos to Twitter and, in less than a week, the pictures have been retweeted 22,000 times and counting.
In each selfie, an additional person joins Emile and it sends a powerful message of solidarity.
"I was just taking selfies in this amazing bathroom and then my friend Madaline joined me, and then Ellie and Lucas and Jeffry came in," Emile told BuzzFeed News.
Emile says all the students in the photo identify as queer. She adds, “Personally, I think gender-neutral bathrooms are a necessity. Everyone deserves the right to exist in a public space.”
The social media response has been overwhelmingly positive, and many people became understandably emotional just from looking at the beautiful photos.
"I never really expect my tweets to blow up, but they do so often now that I'm not really surprised," Emile told BuzzFeed News.
Of course, the homophobic, transphobic trolls also made their voices heard. Emile would like to remind these people that everyone has gender-neutral bathrooms in their own homes, and it’s completely unnecessary to make a big deal about having the restrooms in public spaces.
She hopes that her viral tweet will remind everyone that it’s possible to coexist without threats or violence — especially when it comes to something as simple and natural as using a restroom.
"Everyone should have access to public bathrooms without having violence inflicted on them," Emile said.
Her photos are a powerful reminder that sharing bathrooms is so not a big deal — and the response proves that, although there will always be bigots, Emile and the queer community have plenty of support from people all over the country.