In a video that’s making waves this week, successful businessman Ricky Reyes, founder of the iconic hairdressing empire that bears his name, echoes what had long been the sentiment of a good chunk of the gay community. Reyes makes a good point — that the gay community need not force themselves upon the broader public space as they are already part of a strong community that enjoy a long historical record of contributing value to society.
Ang affair ng mga bakla dapat sa atin lang ‘yan. ‘Wag nating pangalandakan. Bakit pa kailangan sabihin sa madlang people na ‘Huy, intindihin mo nga ako. Bakla ako.
Translated: “The affairs of gay people are our own community’s alone. Let’s not impose this on others. Why do we pester people by telling them ‘Hey, pay attention to us. We are gay.'”
On the issue of transgender “women” Reyes points out that these people still think like and, for all intents and purposes, are gay men. “Grind them and they’ll come out as gay hamburgers,” he quips in Tagalog.
Ricky Reyes is saying what some of us have been saying for so long – that members of the LGBTQ+ community do not have to force themselves on people who don’t like them. They have their own community they can go to anyway. Reyes is also proof Philippine society has had a long history of embracing its gay community. He is a success in his chosen endeavour and testament to the reality that real acceptance comes on the back of achievement and measurable success.
A successful entrepreneur from way back in the 1980s when “gay rights” was not the snowflake fashion statement it is today, Reyes has proven that “rights” or no “rights” people who have what it takes will be successful whether gay or straight. That said, Reyes is proof that the Philippines has long been accepting of its gay community — with or without the snowflake “activism” that infests the discourse today.