These selfies demonstrate the need for gender-neutral bathrooms

Jessica Ankomah
Julissa Emile (left) with college friends. <em>Image via Twitter</em>
Julissa Emile (left) with college friends. Image via Twitter

Julissa Emile was attending a college poetry slam in Chicago when she tweeted a special moment that has since gone viral.

The 19-year-old student took a series of bathroom mirror selfies during some down time at the event, but in each photo more people joined in.

The important thing? The photos were taken in a gender-neutral bathroom — and according to Emile, each of the people photographed identify as queer.

Whether intended or not, these snapshots make a pretty bold statement about the demand for gender-neutral bathrooms.

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“A gender-neutral bathroom but every time I take a picture more queer people get in the photo,” Emile wrote for her tweet.

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The combination of the selfies and the caption clearly spoke to people. The tweet has already garnered more than 22,000 retweets.

“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 of the impromptu snaps.

“Personally, I think gender-neutral bathrooms are a necessity,” she said. “Everyone deserves the right to exist in a public space.”

Limiting bathroom rights means law-makers get to decide whether transgender and non-binary people are allowed to exist in public. It’s moments like these remind us that not everyone wants to use bathrooms assigned for men or women. Gender-neutral bathrooms free these people from having to chose one side or the other.

Julissa Emile’s photos prove a move towards gender-neutral bathrooms is necessary — and possible.

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