Transgender People Fight Discrimination With Bathroom Selfies

"I don't care what bathroom you want me to use," one Instagram user protested

"Women only" is written on a portable toilet in Scheessel, Germany. — (Getty Images)
Mar 30, 2016 at 7:03 AM ET

Transgender individuals and their allies have found an inventive way to protest a North Carolina law barring people from using bathrooms that don’t match their biological gender: Bathroom selfies.

The selfie campaign, which spread across Instagram, has been in full swing since HB2—the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act—passed on March 24. The bill has been criticized as being anti-LGBT, since it stipulates that people can only use restrooms that correspond with their biological sex rather than the gender they identify with.

More How The North Carolina Trans Community Is Fighting Discrimination

One Instagram user, who describes himself as “transmasculine” in his profile, said he posted a selfie from a public men’s bathroom “just a few hours before #hb2 was signed into law.” The user wrote: “You are telling kids it isn’t okay to be themselves and telling other kids that it is okay to discriminate and bully people who don’t fit in.” Another user posted an image featuring two children standing outside a women’s bathroom, with the comment: “First lesson in civil disobedience. #mommydoesntpeealone.”

Protest campaigns also sprouted on other platforms. In the lead up to International Transgender Day of Visibility on Thursday, Vocativ used our technology to find that the hashtag #WeAreNotThis was posted 62,901 times on Twitter between March 23 and midnight EST on March 30, in many cases to protest that the bill passed and also to attack North Carolina governor Pat McCrory, who signed the bill into law a week ago. The hashtag #HB2 was used 62,582 times during the same period, Vocativ found.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit on Monday challenging the law as part of the swelling backlash.