Waving the bisexual flag just in time for Pride Month, newly crowned Miss Universe Philippines 2023 Michelle Dee finally comes out as bisexual in a recent interview for a magazine cover.
“I definitely identify myself as bisexual,” she proclaimed. “I’ve identified with that for as long as I can remember. I’m attracted to all forms of beauty, all shapes and sizes.”
Focused on using her platform to promote autism acceptance, Michelle took her time in coming out to the public. According to her, she didn’t want to cloud everyone’s judgment by shocking them during the competition.
However, right after her coronation, several of Michelle’s old boyish nene photos suddenly resurfaced on the internet. While she received a lot of support from her fans and the LGBTQIA+ community, she wasn’t spared from the backlash and invalidation of her recent win. To break the ice about her sexuality, she decided to take control of her story through the interview.
“I want to come out with this story because I know that those photos were spread with malicious intent— to kind of distract me, make me feel I’m not worthy of the crown.”
She continued, “I acknowledge that it was so malicious that I felt—and this applies to everyone—when somebody takes away your story, then you should take control of that narrative. Turn it around and make it an empowering story.”
Michelle’s sexuality has been an “open secret” to her loved ones. While her friends knew, her family always had an inkling and already accepted her as she is. She never had to discuss her identity until now.
“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.”
The 28-year-old also emphasized the importance of respecting one’s timeline when coming out of the closet. Aside from clearing the rumors, she opted to do the interview to also inspire those who are still unable to fully express their identity.
“Be more empowered and do not let other people control your life, your narrative,” she advised. “Own who you really are and have that self-worth and confidence to control your life. If you try to take that away, I’ll take it back. It boils down to respecting people and spreading love and spreading light. There’s too much hate in the world. Let’s make a conscious effort to make this a better world.”
As a “loud and proud ally”, the Mga Lihim ni Urduja star expressed that she’s been an advocate for the rainbow community even before coming out as bisexual. Aside from being vocal about LGTBQ+ rights, Michelle also revealed that she attended pride events in the past.
Michelle is the daughter of the famous former beauty queen, Melanie Marquez, who bagged the Miss International crown in 1979. Continuing in her mother’s footsteps, she is set to represent the Philippines at the highly anticipated 72nd Miss Universe pageant in El Salvador this year.