Celebrity hairdresser Ricky Reyes’ anti-LGBTQ remarks get mixed reactions

Ricky Reyes. <i>Photo: Screenshot from Timmy Basil’s video</i>
Ricky Reyes. Photo: Screenshot from Timmy Basil’s video

Celebrity hairdresser and businessman Ricky Reyes, an openly gay man, has gone viral after slamming other members of the LGBTQ community for asserting their rights.

Reyes made the remarks in a YouTube video interview posted by a netizen named Timmy Basil on Sunday. Reyes was asked by a group of men on his views about Senate Bill No. 1271, often referred to as the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) bill.

Sponsored by Senator Risa Hontiveros, the proposed law prohibits all forms of discrimination and violence against people based on their sexual expression or identity. One of its provisions includes prohibiting businesses from denying Filipinos access to their facilities (such as toilets), utilities, or services on the basis of their gender identity.

That particular element of the bill has attracted plenty of interest/debate since the August arrest of transgender woman Gretchen Diez, who was being barred from using the ladies’ restroom in a Quezon City mall.

Read: Farmers Plaza apologizes to trans woman Gretchen Diez after mall cleaner had her arrested

Referring to the bill and Diez’s experience, Reyes said that trans people should use the toilet that matches their biological sex at birth.

“If you have a penis, use the men’s [room]. If you have a vagina, use the women’s [room]. I respect you as a person, I respect your homosexuality, but we should know our place,” Reyes said in Filipino and English.

The multi-millionaire Reyes, known for owning a chain of hair salons, went on to say that his opinion is the same for those who have undergone gender reassignment surgery.

“A gay man, even if he has a vagina, even if he has boobs, his brain still belongs to a gay man,” he said. “Like what I said, know your place.”

Sadly, he wasn’t through. Apart from restrooms, he also suggest that trans people should stick to the bars and nightclubs meant for them.

“Why would you go to a place and force them to believe that you’re a girl? When there are bars that are meant for gay people?” Reyes said. “Stick to the place meant for us. Why would you force yourself to be in a place where people won’t accept you?”

But wait, there’s more. He also spoke out against same-sex marriage, even though the SOGIE bill does not push for its legalization.

“Marriage is meant for men and women. We call that sacrilege in Catholicism. That’s a way of disrespecting religion. It’s not necessary. I’ve been in a relationship for 40-plus years, we don’t go out to say we need to get married… You’re just making the world too complicated.”

He also proudly told his interviewers that he has openly advocated against cross-dressing.

“This year, I met up with members of the LGBT community. I told them, stop it with homosexuality. Don’t wear dresses when you’re in the streets because people will make fun of us. We should help other people so that they would love us instead.”

Read: Trans woman Gretchen Diez files complaint against Araneta Center over restroom incident

Some netizens agreed with Reyes’ views, such as @AngkinFidel, who said Reyes has his “high respect.”

@gaaaaaaaaabbbb called out netizens who attacked Reyes and his warped views.

“Y’all hate Ricky Reyes because you can’t lure him into your culture of victimhood & imaginary oppression,” she wrote. “Well, people who accept themselves, know their rights & limits DO NOT NEED to be validated by a make-believe, unconstitutional bill by Hontiveros.”

But many slammed Reyes for his transphobia and homophobia such as @jebtizon who wrote: “[Y]our views are obsolete. Just like your hairstyles. Please go away.”

“I think the statement of Ricky Reyes is unfair as she is speaking from a position of privilege,” wrote @_mamser. “She’s recognized and ‘accepted’ because she’s rich. Just accepting what she’s saying is, basically, erasing what others are experiencing.” (Editor: No, Reyes does not identify as a woman, so we’re not quite sure what the commenter is doing using the female pronoun.)

@jaredridinghoe pointed out that Reyes had fired one of his employees after the businessman learned that the salon worker was HIV positive. “[M]y point is, he’s a clown. and people shouldn’t listen to whatever comes out of a clown’s mouth. and how do we respond to a clown? WE LAUGH AT IT,” he wrote.

In 2014, Reyes fired an employee named Renato Nocos after the latter disclosed that he was HIV positive. In retaliation, Nocos sued Reyes and his business partner at the country’s labor court and the businessman was found guilty of discrimination and unlawful termination in 2016.

Do you agree with Reyes’ views? Tell us by leaving a comment below or tweeting to @CoconutsManila.

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