back to top

This Drawing By A Trans Teen Has Become A Symbol In The Fight For Trans Bathroom Rights

"I didn't want confrontation. I just wanted to pee."

Posted on

"I was really just frustrated," he told BuzzFeed. Gross said his high school's policy was to tell him to use the bathroom in the nurse's office, on the other side of the school.

"I also hated going out in public because unless I was extremely lucky there wouldn't be a gender neutral or single stall bathroom anywhere," he said. "It was a constant source of anxiety for me knowing that if I pass I'll look like a boy in the girls' room, if I don't pass I'll look like a girl in the boys' room, and either way this is inviting confrontation. I didn't want confrontation. I just wanted to pee."


When it's used, Gross's work receives hundreds of shares, and is commended for honestly addressing trans bathroom rights.

This is a situation no #transgender child should have to face. Speak up and #ProtectTransKids. #LGBT

The drawing has recently resurfaced after the US Department of Justice rescinded guidelines that allowed transgender students to use the bathroom of their gender identity.

The issue of which bathroom trans people should use has been fiercely contested among politicians, pundits and the public. Last year, then President Obama sent guidelines to public schools, stating they must not discriminate against trans students and allow them access to facilities, such as bathrooms and housing, that are "consistent with their gender identity." President Trump withdrew these guidelines last week.

Gross said he is glad that image has become as significant as it has, but had he known it would get so big, he might have added a signature.

This photo sums up what our trans youth go through. Must not forget: this isn't about bathrooms. It's about transph…

Rachael Krishna is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Rachael Krishna at

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.