JRTA: How old were you when the original picture in the bathtub was taken?
Tyler: I’m not certain of my exact age in the original photo. Probably about 12 months to 18 months old. I was a tiny little baby.
JRTA: What inspired you to recreate the photo?
Tyler: The inspiration for the photo came from a friend’s aunt. I had posted the original baby photo the night before, it got a bunch of reactions from my friends on Facebook, and my best friend from high school’s Aunt Lisa suggested that we should recreate the photo because it would be absolutely hilarious. I told my mom about it, and my mom was immediately all for it. My mom was the driving force behind the recreation photo. Sad to say that it wasn’t even my idea!!
JRTA: How did you feel when the post went viral?
Tyler: I had no intentions of this photo going viral. Friends and I jokingly said it would be hilarious to get on ‘Ellen’ or something, but we were totally kidding. The day after posting it, it spread like wildfire. It was out of control. It went from 775 shares to over 16 thousand in under two hours. Realizing that it had gone completely viral was so surreal. I don’t know if it’s even sunken in completely still… my original post is now at 72.6 thousand shares on Facebook alone with 52.7 thousand comments. That’s nuts.
JRTA: What do you have to say to the people leaving negative comments?
Tyler: My response to the negativity surrounding my post is just like I have responded to any negativity my entire life. Growing up gay in a small town, I’ve already heard it all before, and I just don’t let it get to me. Other people’s opinions of me are none of my business. I’m happy with the person that I am, the relationships that I have with my friends and family, so why would I give a shit about anything complete strangers have to say about me?! I wasn’t put on this planet to please everyone. I don’t censor myself for anyone, ever… and I never will. Sorry, not sorry.
JRTA: How is your relationship with your father?
Tyler: My relationship with my father is something that I feel extremely grateful for. He has worked so hard his entire life to support me and our family. He and my mom have both supported me in everything that I ever wanted to do 100%, loving me unconditionally through it all, no matter what. I am truly blessed to have him in my life, and I’m so happy that we have yet another hilarious memory to cherish together for the rest of our lives. He really is the best!
JRTA: Who took the pictures?
Tyler: My mom is the one who took the picture! We were all laughing so hard while she was snapping the photos, she nearly peed her pants. It was such a spur of the moment decision to recreate the photo, and we were all just enjoying the moment, sharing a tremendous laugh. My relationship with my mom is also absolutely incredible. She is literally my best friend in the world and I love her more than life itself.
JRTA: What are your plans for the rest of 2017?
Tyler: I really don’t have a plan for the rest of 2017. I’m not the kind of person to think about/plan for the future. I live very in the moment and take things one day at a time. I’m just gonna go back to my job, waiting tables, and see where things take me!