Beatrice Luigi Gomez made some clarifications about her being a member of the LGBTQ+ community, addressing accusations that she only "claimed" to be queer when she competed at the Miss Universe Philippines 2021 to make her stand out from the rest.
In a lengthy post on Instagram, the beauty queen detailed how long she's been fighting for LGBTQ+ rights as someone who has been experiencing discrimination in line with her sexuality since 2015.
“I have been quiet for years knowing that I have spoken my truth and that I am proud of the breakthrough my representation has brought the country, especially the LGBTQIA+ community as the first openly gay representative of the Philippines,” she began, stressing that she simply used pageantry as her platform in upholding advocacies that are close to her heart.
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She then answered some issues in line with her sexuality, which came after netizens found out that she's dating a man following her split with her longtime girlfriend.
"Yes I am with someone now who is from the opposite sex but that doesn't change who I am and what I stand for," she said.
"I am pansexual which means I have no regard for a person's gender, which technically makes me bisexual as I can be with either sex," she added.
Bea went on to answer allegations that she only came out as a member of the queer community to "hype up" her reign in 2021.
“My representation of the LGBTQIA+ community has been an ongoing advocacy way before I even came across pageants, which means way before I even planned to join a national pageant,” she said, adding that she has continued to fight for the good amid “bullying, discrimination, and harassment.”
Looking back on her journey from Binibining Cebu 2020 to Miss Universe 2021, Bea highlighted that her advocacy “had always been promoting social work and youth development.”
“My management, advisers, and myself agreed that it should be my priority because even if people rally behind me as the ‘gay, unconventional beauty queen,’ that is not the only thing that defines me and my causes,” she stressed.
"Most importantly, being a member of the LGBTQIA+ community has no bearing in judging Miss Universe candidates, hence the conclusion of my feat at Top 5," she added.
Bea also emphasized she has no reason to "queerbait" as she is not that active on social media.
Despite the criticisms, the Filipina beauty said she will continue to fight for queer rights as she has seen how her efforts progressed in "paving the way for our young dreamers to be confident of themselves and for them to know that there is a place for them when they truly embrace their authentic selves."
"You can continue to judge me. I know my truth and I will continue to celebrate Pride Month every year and remember the wins that I've had along with the entire LGBTQIA+ community," she concluded.
Bea has been vocal about her gender identity since she entered the pageant scene in 2020. Since she finished in the Top 5 of the prestigious Miss Universe competition in 2021, she has been busy training and doing community work as a Navy reservist.