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Get to know Billie Hakenson—Cavite’s proudly bisexual Miss Universe PH bet

By Brooke Villanueva Published Oct 21, 2020 10:10 pm

“I’m Billlie Hakenson, representing Cavite, and I’m a bisexual and I’m proud to be here.”

It was a rather candid revelation at the trailer for the Miss Universe Philippines (MUP) preliminary interviews, delivered like it isn't a big deal. Then again, as it should be.

Meet Billie Hakenson, who in her standout pixie hair and feline eyes, is landing headlines lately for being an openly queer beauty pageant contender at no less than the MUP. She's one of the many young hopefuls looking to win the crown—and move on to the world stage where she can probably convey a bigger, more colorful message of inspiration.

This isn’t the first time that a beauty queen, who identifies as LGBT, has walked across the pageant stage. Binibining Cebu 2020 Beatrice Luigi Gomez said during the tilt’s Q&A portion that her “bravery and being true to myself” is what makes her beautiful. “To tell you guys, honestly, I have a girlfriend. I have tattoos, and I am proud of my imperfections. I guess that is what makes me beautiful,” she explained.

At last year’s Miss Universe held in Atlanta, Georgia, Miss Myanmar Swe Zin Htet made the rounds online as she represented the LGBTQ+ community on a global stage. “I want the world to accept the LGBTQ+ community and their right to choose their own path and pursuit of happiness,” she said in an interview. “We should always have the freedom of choice and promote equality.”

Likewise, Angela Ponce of Spain made history at Miss Universe 2018 for being the very first transgender contestant. “My hope is for tomorrow to be able to live in a world of equality for everyone, simply for us all to understand that we are human and we must make all our lives easier together,” Ponce said. “If I can give that to the world, I don’t need to win Miss Universe; I only need to be here.”

Indeed, the pageant scene is becoming more and more open to diversity and representation, and this is exactly what Hakenson continues to fight for on a larger scale. “I know who I am, I know what I can do. I will tell my story as truly as I can, and I will enjoy every bit of this journey as I build myself,” as she had written in an Instagram post.

This proudly bisexual contender is vying for the MUP crown on Sunday. Here are some things to know about her: 

She’s a flight attendant

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Goodbye for now Abu Dhabi... see you again in a few days... ???@jumpseatcrew #crewlife #herethereeverywhere #hotelrooms #skyismyhome✈️

A post shared by Billie Hakenson (@billie.hakenson) on

After graduating with a degree in Marketing Management at St. Dominic College of Asia, she worked as a flight attendant for Philippine Airlines and transferred to Cebu Pacific later on.

She’s no stranger to the pageant scene

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A post shared by Billie Hakenson (@billie.hakenson) on

Prior to representing the country at the Miss Teen Universe 2013, she was crowned Binibining Unibersidad in 2012. She was also one of the candidates of last year’s Miss World Philippines.

She’s known to have a “comprehensive self-penned advocacy”

Billie once revealed that she advocates for “Women Empowerment and Individual Advocates towards Nature and wildlife preservation and responsiveness” or 'W.I.N."

She fights for LGBT rights

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Will forever be grateful and honored to raise our flag.

A post shared by Billie Hakenson (@billie.hakenson) on

“Will forever be grateful and honored to raise our flag,” she said in an Instagram post showing a rainbow flag beside a paper heart. 

It was reigning Miss U Zozibini Tunzi who inspired her to join the competition with short hair

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A post shared by Billie Hakenson (@billie.hakenson) on

In an online conversation, she expressed her admiration for Tunzi who broke "the status quo” and the “typical beauty queen mold.” “I just really want to thank you for doing that. You are amazing. You inspire me so much, and I never had this much confidence before, with short hair, to join a pageant,” Hakenson said.

The Miss Universe Philippines grand coronation night will be streamed via Ring Light on Oct. 25, 10:30 a.m. 

Is she one of your bets?