Michelle Dee just came out as bisexual.
The beauty queen recalled being “sporty” in her yesteryears, when she developed an interest in basketball, volleyball, swimming, and taekwondo, among others. She also talked about her old photos that resurfaced just recently, where she can be seen rocking boyish outfits and a "rugged appearance."
“It was one of those nene-days photos. I don’t know if I’m annoyed that I was so boyish or the fact that, ‘Oh, my god! That’s not my aesthetic or branding now. Ang layo!’” she told the local magazine.
Michelle said she wanted to “keep” those photos to herself as they no longer match her current taste in terms of style and fashion. “This is a phase in my life that I’ve worked to keep in the past just because I feel that it doesn’t represent who I am now—the short hair, the sense of style, nene look, all of that. When I decided to rebrand myself entering college, I had already archived all of that,” she explained.
After opening up about being boyish since she was young, the GMA-7 star got real about identifying herself 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, adding that it's an “open secret” among her friends and family.
She also shared that she grew up in an environment that appreciates those who are both “pogi" and "maganda,” thanks to her mom, former beauty queen Melanie Marquez.
“My mom would say, ‘Oh, anak, when I was young, I had five girlfriends.’ She’d tease me sometimes because I had a very boyish demeanor. I liked doing sports, my sister did ballet. So, I grew up in an environment where we’d appreciate pogi, maganda,” she shared.
Taking pride in embracing who she really is, Michelle said she didn't really see the need to "come out" as bisexual then. “I was getting positive feedback by just being myself. I never had to identify myself. I never had to quote, unquote come out. I was never really confronted about it by my parents or people who matter.”
“When I get into a relationship, the first thing I will tell that person is ‘Okay, let’s get this out of the way.’ And then you can decide if you want to date me,’” she continued.
For Michelle, gender and sexuality “never felt like an issue.”
“I’m so much more than how I identify myself,” she explained. “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 beauty queen went on to note that she has long been an ally to the LGBTQ+ community. “I’ve been an advocate for LGBTQIA+ for as long as I can remember. Even before coming out, I’ve been attending pride marches.”
“I have too many friends and best friends in the community. I’ve been a loud and proud ally. It’s just that I never gave a confirmation,” she said.
Michelle was announced as Miss Universe Philippines 2023 during the May 13 coronation night at Pasay's Mall of Asia Arena. She's set to represent the country at the 72nd Miss Universe pageant, which will be held in El Salvador this year.