Last week, a photo went viral of four college students holding anti-trans posters stating, "Transgenderism is a mental disorder!" and "Keep your agenda out of our restroom!"
The four students in the photograph received mixed reactions on social media — bombarded with criticism by some and defended by others.
But one response in particular, from a trans 15-year-old, Twitter user Ian Alexander, has spread all over the internet. He took a photo of himself holding a sign that said, "Shut the fuck up."
Alexander told BuzzFeed News he took the photo of himself, holding the very direct message, while at work after spotting the original image online. The two photos placed side by side have been retweeted over 10,000 times since being posted early last week.
“I was frustrated, but decided to use humor rather than waste my energy on people who clearly don’t understand what they’re against,” said Alexander of his decision to post his response.
"I definitely didn't expect that much response," said Alexander. "Overall, they were positive, supporting me — but I have gotten into a few arguments."
"I figure if they have their freedom of speech, I might as well lessen the blow by using mine as well," he said.
The Bruin Republicans Club told BuzzFeed News that the organization "neither endorses nor condemns the positions presented by our members in that viral photo, but supports their exercise of free speech."
Sarah Karlan is the Deputy LGBT Editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.