PH’s bet on Miss Universe’s tilt breaks a barrier

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QUEEN B ‘Beatrice Luigi Gomez of Cebu City is crowned new Miss Universe Philippines on Thursday night. —PHOTO COURTESY OF MISS UNIVERSE PHILIPPINES

CEBU CITY — A lesbian made history Thursday when she was the first member of the LGBTQIA + community to be crowned Miss Universe Philippines, making her the country’s representative in this premier international beauty pageant to be held in December.

Beatrice Luigi Gomez, 26, of Cebu City beat 27 other Miss Universe Philippines contenders in the final stop of the competition at Hennan Resort Alona Beach in Bohol province.

She will then participate in the 70th Miss Universe pageant, which will be held in the resort town of Eilat in Israel.

The Miss Universe pageant is known to welcome applicants who identify with the LGBTQIA + community, or the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual community.

Former candidates for this annual competition included lesbian Patricia Rodriguez, Miss Spain in 2013, transgender Angela Maria Ponce Camacho, also Miss Spain in 2018, and lesbian Swe Zin Htet, Miss Myanmar in 2019.

Before Gomez won the Miss Universe Philippines crown this year, there was Kimberly “Billie” Hakenson from Cavite Province, who identified herself as bisexual in this contest last year as Rabiya Mateo from Iloilo City. ultimately won.

“Definitely ready”

Gomez, who dabbled in mass communication at the University of San Jose-Recoletos in Cebu City, first ventured into the beauty realm in 2015, when she finished runner-up in the Miss Pageant. Mandaue.

She was crowned Binibining Cebu last year, before joining the Miss Universe Philippines pageant – her first appearance in a national beauty competition – and becoming the winner, beating out other more experienced contestants in the field.

On her way to her crowning glory, Gomez also won the awards for Best Swimsuit and Best Evening Dress, as well as the Miss Luxxe ImmunPlus Game Changer and Miss Cream Silk titles.

She particularly stood out during the question and answer part for the top 10 semi-finalists.

A question for Gomez was worded like this: “You are beautiful because of your bravery, because you are out and about and a proud member of the LGBTQIA + community. Do you think the Philippines is ready to send a member of your community to the Miss Universe pageant? “

She replied, “I honestly believe our country has definitely come a long way in our fight for equality, especially for the LGBTQIA + community. Our country has been very supportive and I really think we are definitely ready to send someone, an LGBTQIA + member into the universe.

“Be authentic”

Gomez has been open about her identity in interviews and on social media, as has her partner, disc jockey Kate Jagdon. Jagdon congratulated Gomez on Instagram on Friday, saying “Your journey to be authentic is an inspiration to all Filipinos.”

In an interview in August, Gomez was proud of her partner, saying “We’ve been together for six years, seven in a few months.”

“When I want to spice up my workouts, I do a few rounds of boxing, and I do most of those things with my girlfriend Kate,” said the beauty queen, who also became a member of the reserve unit of the Philippine Navy after undergoing military training earlier this year.

But Jaypee Perez, who identified himself as a friend of Gomez’s in a radio interview, claimed that the organizers of a previous beauty pageant she had entered had asked her to remove her tattoos and remove social networks his photos with Jagdon.

The organizers then changed their mind and allowed Gomez to enter the contest, according to Perez.

This year’s Miss Universe Philippines began with a selection of 100 applicants in July. By September, the number had fallen to 28.

A ‘bubble’ in Pampanga province was set up in anticipation of a coronation on September 25, but this was postponed due to pandemic restrictions, until the government’s pandemic task force gave the ruling. clearance for the final competition in Bohol on Thursday.

In the question-and-answer section, Gomez was also asked, “If during your reign as Miss Universe Philippines, things happen in your life that make you sad and uninspired, how could you continue to inspire others?” ? “

She replied: “It is very evident that we have all been through difficulties during this pandemic. But it is also proof that we are capable of being up to the task.

“And if anything happens to me during my reign, I will not give up and [will continue to] inspire others by tackling the issues I face and inspiring them that whatever you are going through, you can overcome them, ”she said.

Gomez succeeds Mateo, who has managed to maintain the Philippines’ inclusion in the Miss Universe semi-finals for the 11th consecutive year.

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