Miss Universe Philippines

Who is Beatrice Luigi Gomez, Miss Universe Philippines 2021?

Amanda T. Lago
Who is Beatrice Luigi Gomez, Miss Universe Philippines 2021?

NEW QUEEN. Beatrice Luigi Gomez of Cebu City is crowned Miss Universe Philippines 2021.

Miss Universe Philippines' Facebook

The Cebuana beauty is the first openly-queer winner of the pageant

Miss Universe Philippines crowned a new queen on Thursday, September 30, Cebu City’s Beatrice Luigi Gomez.

The 26-year-old beauty queen’s win is a milestone for the LGBTQ+ community – Bea is the first openly-bisexual candidate to win the title.

Throughout the pageant, and even during her run as Binbining Cebu, she has been candid about her relationship with her girlfriend of almost seven years, Kate Jagdon, who is a DJ.

In a story on Cebu Daily News, Bea said that she realized she was attracted to both sexes as she was growing up. She also spoke about how she hopes that younger LGBTQ+ people would be free from bullying and violence.

“Just like what everyone hopes for in the LGBTQIA+, I aspire for acceptance and inclusivity — especially equal rights and protection for the younger generation who oftentimes suffer from bullying and different forms of violence. They are left to fend for themselves, particularly those that are oppressed by their own parents,” she said.

In an Instagram post, she also described herself as non-binary (though hasn’t specified pronouns), saying “sometimes I’m Beatrice/Bea, other days I feel like being Luigi. It’s about being feminine and masculine at the same time.”

Pageant journey

Bea is not new to the pageant scene. In 2015, she placed second runner-up in the Miss Mandaue pageant, and in January 2020, she was crowned Binibining Cebu by the reigning queen at the time, Steffi Rose Aberasturi, who she ended up competing against in the Miss Universe Philippines pageant.

She did not expect to join the national pageant so soon after her Binibining Cebu win, but Bea said “God has a knack of leading you to unexpected plot twists when you least expect it.”

Bea stood out early on in the pageant, winning the introduction challenge, and ranking 6th in the interview challenge.

On pageant night, Bea breezed through the competition, winning a slew of special awards, including Best in Evening Gown, and Best in Swimsuit.

Aside from being a beauty queen, Bea is also a community development worker and a navy marines reservist.

Bea is a self-confessed adrenaline junkie, and her list of hobbies might make the next person feel exhausted just reading it – she was a former volleyball varsity player, and also does boxing, scuba diving, and MMA.

Before the competition, Bea also finished her first 42km run, and as a true queen, she did it for the benefit of children affected by the armed conflict in Negros.

Quite importantly, Bea is also a proud cat lady. At the height of the pandemic, she and her girlfriend adopted a pusang pinoy they named Twix, who makes regular appearances on Bea’s Instagram page.

At the coronation night, Bea was quite prophetically asked how she would continue to inspire others, if there was a time during her reign that she felt sad and uninspired herself.

“It is very evident that all of us went through difficulties during this pandemic, but it is also proof that we are able to rise to the occasion,” she said.

“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 by inspiring them that what you are going through, you will be able to overcome it,” she added.

With the Miss Universe Philippines 2021 title, Bea now has the challenge of representing the country in Miss Universe 2021 – arguably the most high-profile pageant in the world – in Israel in December. It’s daunting for even the most determined beauty queens – but Bea seems born to take on that challenge. – Rappler.com

Amanda T. Lago

After avoiding long-term jobs in favor of travelling the world, Amanda finally learned to commit when she joined Rappler in July 2017. As a lifestyle and entertainment reporter, she writes about music, culture, and the occasional showbiz drama. She also hosts Rappler Live Jam, where she sometimes tries her best not to fan-girl on camera.