We are blown away by the representation and allyship in the pageant world
BY ELLA GAUCI, IMAGE VIA INSTAGRAM (@MARIANAJVARELA AND @ANGELAPONCEOFFICIAL)
The queer pageant community gained a new member this week when Miss Universe Philippines Michelle Dee came out as bisexual. In an Interview with Mega Magazine she said: “I definitely identify myself as bisexual. I’ve identified with that for as long as I can remember. I’m attracted to all forms of beauty, all shapes and sizes.”
She fondly shared memories of growing up without the pressure of having to come out, with her parents loving and accepting her throughout her teenage years. However, after when pushed into the limelight, Michelle felt an overwhelming pressure to come out after photos from her teenage years surfaced of her looking “boyish”.
“I have so much more to offer the world and the universe than how I identify myself. This is also the reason why I chose not to come out despite the pressure to come out during the competition.”
Michelle is not the only pageant queen who identifies as being part of the LGBTQIA community. Here are some of our favourite queer pageant moments.
Miss Argentina and Miss Puerto Rico tying the knot
Lesbians everywhere cheered when Mariana Varela (Miss Argentina) and Fabiola Valentín (Miss Puerto Rico) revealed that they had gotten married after a secret two-year relationship. The pair met at Miss Grand International (MGI) in 2020, and dated secretly ever since. Fabiola captioned the Instagram post of their wedding day with: “After deciding to keep our relationship private, we opened the doors to them on a special day.”
We are obsessed with this couple!
Angela Ponce as the first ever transgender contestant of Miss Universe
Representing Spain, Angela Ponce was the first ever openly trans contestant to take part in the Miss Universe competition. The Miss Universe competition has allowed transgender contestants since 2012, but Angela didn’t compete until 2018. While she didn’t win the crown, she certainly won over the hearts of the pageant world.
Swe Zin Htet breaking barriers as the first openly gay contestant
In 2019, Swe Zin Htet became the first openly gay contestant to walk across the Miss Universe stage. Representing Myanmar, where same sex relationships are illegal, Swe showed immense courage when she appeared on stage. She told Glamour: “A majority of people in Myanmar are not accepting of this. But my goal is to make them look at me and others that are like me just the same.”
When Jakapong “Anne” Jakrajutatip spent $20 million to buy the franchise
Trans media tycoon Jakapong “Anne” Jakrajutatip changed the face of Miss Universe forever when she bought it last year. At this year’s competition she gave a speech saying: “It has been 70 years since the Miss Universe organisation has been run by men. But now, time is up. [Now] is the moment really for women to take the lead.”
She went on to say: “From now on it’s gonna be run by women, owned by a trans woman, for all women around the world to celebrate the power of feminism.”
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