Miss Universe Philippines Michelle Dee is taking control of her own narrative and breaking boundaries in the special issue of MEGA Magazine by proudly coming out as Bisexual. Michelle shares that her cover magazine is her way of telling her personal story and narrative which embodies how she owns who she is and to encourage others to do the same. She hopes that the cover story will empower other to be authentic of who they are as well as be the champion of others who are taking the steps to be true to themselves.
With everything she has been through, her identity has never been a topic that she felt she needed to discuss with anyone. But when asked, she would, at least most of the time, just say she’s bisexual. In the end, her gender is really no one’s business but hers.
“It was never an issue because I felt—and I still feel like—I’m so much more than how I identify myself,” Michelle adds. “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.”
She admits to being advised to talk about her gender before winning the crown. “I said, ‘No.’ I joined the pageant because this is much greater than myself. This is not about me. This is about the cause I’m fighting, advocating for: autism awareness. That’s my main goal. My identity is not what I want to be remembered for. I felt like coming out during the competition would shock everyone, and cloud everyone’s judgment. I also wanted to do that within my own timeline, and it wasn’t the right time. Because I want all of my focus and everyone’s focus to be on all the good causes.”
After careful thought, she finally decided that now is the right time.
“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 explains.
“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.
“So that’s what I’m doing. I feel that it’s so important when somebody tries to knock you down and use your past against you. We all have to realize that we’ve come such a long way to just let our past define us. Again, how old was I? That was 2014, and it’s 2023.” (READ MORE HERE)