A man with Tourette syndrome is going viral for a video where he confronts a security guard who followed him into the bathroom.
The video was posted on the @myfamily_withtourettes account on May 15 and has received over 7.5 million views and 1.2 million likes. The roughly two-minute clip is captioned “He really wanted to use those hands?” on the screen and shows his confrontation at the security post.
“Security came into the bathroom after me – interrupted me on the way. And then addressed me in the lobby, until this conversation happened,” @myfamily_withtourettes wrote to side of the message.
Tourette’s syndrome is a motor condition characterized by uncontrollable tics. In popular culture this is often exemplified by uncontrollable swearing, although in real life this is just one type of tic that can manifest. On his profile, @myfamily_withtourettes says that although he has a swearing tic, he will “bark like a dog”, and examples of both can be seen in this video.
In the clip, he urges the security guard to Google “Tourette’s Syndrome” because the officer didn’t seem familiar with the disorder. But the guard is nervous and immediately asks why the man is recording their conversation.
“I’m filming you because you came in while I was peeing and you accosted me,” @myfamily_withtourettes says, before asking “But did you ever come in and offer to help someone pee? Besides me?”
Although the guard’s side of the conversation is harder to hear, it seems he was alerted by the audible tics of @myfamily_withtourettes, saying if he hears a noise he has a right to investigate.
“It’s our building,” said the guard.
“I understand you have the right, but I’ve been here about 20 minutes and had no problems, so I went to pee. And you came after me while I was peeing,” he replies.
The two argue some more, with the guard threatening to call the police, but @myfamily_withtourettes eventually leaves the area.
A 2016 article for Bustle by Katherine Burns looks at things people with Tourette syndrome wish the world knew. The first item on the list is to push back against the aforementioned stereotype that people with the disorder just shout swear words — in fact, only one in 10 people with Tourette’s disease have the swearing tic. Also high on the list is the fact that Tourette’s disease is often accompanied by other disorders, including obsessive-compulsive disorder and attention deficit disorder.
Burns also reveals Tourette’s benefits. She says many people with this disorder are creative. She cites her own experience where singing helped reduce stress and tics, leading her to take singing lessons.
Singer Billie Eilish recently opened up about her Tourette syndrome on David Letterman’s Netflix show My next guest needs no introduction. In the clip, she explains that most people don’t realize she has Tourette’s.
“The funny thing is that so many people have it that you’d never know. A few artists came forward and said, ‘I’ve always had the Tourette. And I’m not going to take them out because they don’t want to talk about it, but it’s always been very interesting to me,” Eilish said. “I actually really like answering questions about it because it’s is very, very interesting. And I’m incredibly troubled by that, and I don’t understand.”
The comments on @myfamily_withtourettes’ post were on her side.
“He should be so embarrassed…once you told him what was going on…he should have moved on,” @lisa.8805 wrote.
“Can’t he be in trouble for throwing himself on you while peeing?” @tiffylove1324 wrote.
“Fellow TS-er here, so sorry this happened to you. It’s so frustrating to see people not even trying to understand from a distance. All my love! Keep ticin’! :)” Wrote the author- composer Dylan C. Brady.
And one comment even led to its own follow-up video.
“I wonder if he ever slips in an insult on purpose,” @shabazzvs asked.
In the video, he explains that this is not the case.
“I think it kind of comes from this romanticized idea of, you know, Tourette. Like, ‘Oh, I wish I had it so I could swear. So yeah, no, no, I’m not doing that,” @myfamily_withtourettes said.
In the caption of the post, he added, “No hate. People [without] TS doesn’t understand what it’s like to be [robbed] small moments throughout the day. How they all add up. I treasure every word I get between the tics.”
Newsweek contacted @myfamily_withtourettes for comment.