Canada

Why does this Mexican-Canadian man dress up as Donald Trump?

Diego Saul Reyna dresses up as a 'parallel universe' Donald Trump who does good deeds.

Diego Saul Reyna impersonates a 'parallel universe' version of Donald Trump who does good deeds

Diego Saul Reyna dresses up as a 'parallel universe' Donald Trump who does good deeds. (CBC)

It will no doubt be one of this year's most popular costumes, but Diego Saul Reyna wears his Donald Trump mask year-round — not just at Halloween.

Reyna, a Mexican-Canadian steel framer, made headlines in April when he flew a Mexican flag from the top of Vancouver's Trump Tower. He was protesting Trump's controversial comments that many Mexican migrants could be rapists or criminals.

Reyna, a steel framer, hung a Mexican flag from the top of Vancouver's Trump Tower earlier this year. (Diego Reyna)
Now or Never, a new series on CBC Radio One, spoke with Reyna as he was preparing for his next protest — impersonating Donald Trump. 

A 'parallel universe' Donald Trump

Reyna's latest protest is part performance art, part social experiment.

He dresses up as what he calls a "parallel universe" Donald Trump, complete with a bright red tie, suspenders and a latex mask of the presidential candidate. 

But instead of making incendiary speeches or promoting hotels, Reyna's version of Trump does good deeds.  

He's held doors open for people. He's cleaned graffiti off the side of a building. He's even swept the stairs in front of a mosque — all in the name of subverting expectations and seeing how people react to a kind and gentle Donald Trump.

Seeing him wiping off tables and holding doors forces people to consider the kind of person the presidential candidate is, said Reyna.

"It reveals that it's shocking that he's doing anything positive, and it shouldn't be," said Reyna. "It shouldn't be shocking that anybody does anything positive. It should be the norm." 

'If that's Donald Trump, he's fired!' 

When Now or Never host Trevor Dineen joined Reyna as he hit the streets of Edmonton in his Donald costume, reactions were mixed. As Reyna held doors open and cleaned tables, some people hurled insults while others thanked "Trump" for being a good guy.

As he cleaned tables in a courtyard, one woman yelled, "If that's Donald Trump, he's fired!"

Reyna said that he's happy when people react, both positively and negatively, to his kind and gentle Trump. 

"When they ask me to take off the mask I always tell them, 'It's not a mask, I'm Donald Trump.'"

Reyna says that his Trump impersonation is a way to imagine a world where wealth and power are used to benefit those less fortunate. 

"I really felt powerless that I'm not able to do anything against somebody so powerful. He's unreachable," said Reyna.

"English is not my first language, I'm not born here, and I don't have any education... but I felt compelled to do something." 

RAW: Diego Reyna puts on his Donald Trump mask

5 years ago
0:40
Diego Reyna puts on his Donald Trump mask for Now or Never host Trevor Dineen 0:40

Hear Diego's story on the premiere episode of Now or Never, a new CBC Radio series hosted by Trevor Dineen and Ify Chiwetelu.

Listen at 8:00 p.m. (8:30 p.m. NT) Sundays on Radio One or at cbc.ca/nowornever


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