Drag queen Gilda Wabbit and a traditionally dressed Muslim woman became a representation of the liberal future after a stranger took a picture of them sitting next to each other, on a subway in New York, and shared it on Instagram.
The picture, captioned “This is how freedom looks like Mr. President (Trump), we have no problem with diversity and we embrace the freedom of religion,” was taken and shared by user @Boubah360, and although a majority showed they believed this to be accurate, a far-right Twitter account thought otherwise.
The image was shared on Twitter by @polNewsNetwork1 with a new, condescending caption: “this is the future the liberals want.” The user, who clearly looks down upon people riding the subway in peace, received positive feedback, but not the kind he had hoped for. Twitter users quickly shared the image with its new caption in agreement – that yes, this is the future we want. People sitting next to one another, minding their own business and living in harmony is not only the future we want, but it is the present we should strive for.
The picture quickly became a viral meme and subway goers decided to recreate it in costumes like the Power Rangers with the same caption, “this is the future the liberals want.”
Wabbit also shared the image on her personal Instagram account with the caption, “Welcome to NYC and the fabulous diversity it fosters.”
Boubah has updated the original caption to include the publications who have written about his photo. The list includes The New Yorker, BBC, Wired and BuzzFeed.
In an interview with Newsbeat, Gilda said, “I think the idea that the woman in the hijab and I existing together on a train being something wrong with America is totally at odds with what the goal of what America is.”
Two people sitting on the subway should not be only the future liberals want. It should be the present everyone has the right to.