Loud and proud: Miss Universe Philippines Michelle Dee comes out as bisexual

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 29) — Recently crowned Miss Universe Philippines Michelle Dee is adding another title to her name: a proud member of the LGBTQIA+ community.

The beauty queen came out as bisexual in an exclusive interview with MEGA Magazine on Monday after photos of the young and boyish Dee surfaced online days after she won the prestigious title earlier this month.

In an Instagram post, Dee said she kept her promise of sharing her story at the right time, accompanied with the hashtag "MMDLoudAndProud" and a rainbow flag emoji.

“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 said in the magazine interview.

She added, “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."

Dee explained that she never felt the need to come out since her close friends knew her sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression (SOGIE), while her family — including her beauty queen mom Melanie Marquez — had an "inkling."

She added she thought that coming out during the competition will cloud the public's judgement and take away the focus from her advocacies.

Despite only confirming her SOGIE now, the 28-year-old Dee said she has been a longtime proud ally of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Dee will be representing the Philippines in the Miss Universe 2023 pageant in El Salvador with Miss Universe R'Bonney Gabriel crowning her successor.

The Philippines last won one of the most coveted beauty pageant titles in 2018 through Catriona Gray.