Entrepreneur Ricky Reyes’s recent comments on gay “rights” drew flak from advocates of LGBTQ+ “equality”.
Reyes actually provides employment to a lot of gays and transgenders. It’s not fair that his critics are saying he has forgotten what it’s like to be discriminated against. You can actually argue that being discriminated against helped him work harder at proving himself. That’s not something that will likely happen to the new generation of gays who keep getting special treatment and assert their entitlement to special treatment.
A lot of people like me see him as a hard worker and savvy business person, not someone who is simply “gay”. Our sexual orientation shouldn’t define us. What we do and achieve is what defines us.
Since feminists want people to look beyond their gender and acknowledge their achievements instead, members of the LGBTQ+ community should do the same. They cannot keep telling people they need to be treated a certain way just because of their sexual orientation.
In fact being a rabid gay “activist” is a slippery slope that could easily lead to hate as Rappler columnist Shakira Sison demonstrates in this tweet.
Such rabid members of the LGBTQ+ community are negating even the work of feminists who have been discriminated against because of their gender. By highlighting their gender, misguided individuals within the LGBTQ+ advocacy want people to focus on the their identity, not their achievements. In doing so, they diminish their cause rather than elevate its profile.
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.