DeeDee Villegas, 30, has tattoos all over her body. It took almost 200 hours of painful inking for this, and it obviously does not please everyone.

DeeDee Villegas, a 30-year-old woman from the Philippines, got into the tattoo culture under pressure from those around her. The very first was a tribal tattoo, done around her neck. But very quickly, she decides to make many others. “At first it was to follow fashion. Later it became an outlet for me,” she told the Mirror. “When I was suffering from episodes of depression, tattoos became a mechanism, a form of expression.” In total and after nearly 200 hours of inking, the young woman spent the equivalent of 25,000 euros to be covered with tattoos on 70% of her body. But in the Philippines, where she lives, being a heavily modified, gay, non-binary person in the Philippines is a real challenge…

“He was trying to exorcise the devil in me”

For many years, DeeDee fought against discrimination against people with tattoos. “Things have slowly improved, but it’s still not terrible.” Even today, the young woman is regularly attacked in the street. “It’s difficult because the Philippines is predominantly Catholic and conservative.” One fine day, when she had just boarded a public bus in the Philippines, a priest noticed her. “He put his hands up and started singing,” she recalled. “He was trying to exorcise the devil from me and as we were on a bus full of passengers it made quite a scene.”

Thanks to her presence on social networks, people recognize her on the street now. “I believe the internet and western influence has led to increased acceptance of the modified community in the Philippines.” But even though 60% of the comments she receives are positive, some people continue to be disagreeable, even quoting Bible verses to her.


Lara T.
Lara T.

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