The latest season of Bravo’s Southern Charm features new cast member Rodrigo Reyes joining returning Charmers Venita Aspen, Leva Bonaparte, Craig Conover, Olivia Flowers, Taylor Ann Green, Austen Kroll, Madison LeCroy and Shep Rose.
Reyes, a long-time friend of the Charmers, is known to keep them grounded. He is an interior designer and in a long-term relationship with his boyfriend Tyler. Reyes is joined by fellow newcomers Rod Razavi and Jarrett “JT” Thomas, who aren’t afraid to square off with certain ladies’ looming exes.
The middle of nine kids, Reyes has a big family and knows what it’s like to be in big groups of people with lots to say. When he came out to his parents, they had different reactions.
“My mom didn’t initially believe me,” Reyes told GLAAD’s Anthony Allen Ramos in a recent interview. “She thought I was just saying something to get under the skin…she was a hardheaded Latina which, you know, born and raised knowing how that that can be… it took her a lot longer to realize and accept that even though my oldest brother is 20 years older than me and he’s gay. For her, it took her some time to get used to it.”
Reyes said that his dad was the complete opposite “He literally was just like, ‘I love you. You’re my son’.” He goes onto explain the “machismo” expectations of men in Latino culture and how he was always taught to be tough.
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He ended up in Charleston after he broke up with his last attempt at a girlfriend. She transferred from Arizona State to College of Charleston. When he came to visit, he fell in love. “At that point in my life, I’d never been to the east coast and it was so different than Arizona… I fell in love with the contrast of places. I met her now husband’s best friend and then we started dating long distance and eventually I moved here to be with him.”
Reyes compares Charleston to Austin in Texas when it comes to LGBTQ acceptance. “I think it’s a very accepting, open place,” he said. “I think it’s a very cultured city that understands and appreciates the differences that makes up the U.S.”
Southern Charm airs Thursdays at 9 pm ET/PT on Bravo with episodes streaming the next day on Peacock.