Raise the rainbow flag, as the proud LGBTQIA community member from Cebu City – Beatrice “Bea” Luigi Gomez, 26 – was crowned as Miss Universe Philippines 2021.
Bea will represent the country in the 70th Miss Universe pageant, slated in December in Eilat, Israel, where Andrea Meza of Mexico will crown her successor.
During the question and answer portion, Bea was asked how she will continue inspiring others even if during her reign as Miss Universe Philippines things happened in her life that will make her sad and uninspired. Her answer focused on rising above the challenges and not giving up.
“It is very evident that all of us have been through difficulties during this pandemic, but it is also proved that we are able to rise to the occasion. And if anything happened to me during my reign, I will not give up and inspire others by rising to the problems that I am encountering and inspiring them that whatever they are going through you (they) will be able to overcome it,” Bea said.
Bea also won other special awards, including Best in Swimsuit, Best in Evening Gown, Miss Creamsilk and Immunplus Game Changer.
As a proud member of the LGBTQIA community, the beauty queen said she thinks the country is “definitely ready to send a member of the LGBTQIA+ community to the (Miss) Universe,” she said during the casual conversation portion.
Even earlier, during the preliminary interview, Bea stated that she’s been in a relationship with another woman – DJ Kate Jagdon – for almost seven years now. The latter, who is also out and proud, has been sharing photos of them together via Instagram.
This isn’t the first time a member of the LGBTQIA community joined – and placed – in the national pageant. In 2020, Miss Universe Philippines 2020 4th runner-up Billie Hakenson and another candidate, Weam Ahmed, were also out and proud. But this is the first time an openly LGBTQIA candidate took home the main crown.
Miss Taguig Katrina Dimaranan won as Miss Universe Philippines Tourism, while Miss Cavite Victoria Velasquez Vincent was crowned as Miss Universe Philippines Charity. The first runner-up was Asia’s Next Top Model winner Maureen Wroblewitz of Pangasinan, and second runner-up was Steffi Rose Aberasturi of the Cebu Province.