MANILA -- Cavite's representative in Miss Universe Philippines (MUP) has come out as a bisexual in a closed-door interview for the national pageant.
Kimberly "Billie" Hakenson's revelation was one of the clips included in the teaser video for the next episode in MUP's subscription-based "Ring Light" series released Monday.
"I'm Billie Hakenson, I'm representing Cavite, and I'm a bisexual, and I'm proud to be here," she said.
Watch her starting at the 0:30 mark in the video below:
In her previous Instagram posts, Hakenson has been vocal about sharing her true self throughout her pageant journey.
"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," she said in one of the posts.
In another, she shared a photo of a rainbow flag. "I will forever be grateful and honored to raise our flag," she said.
During a recent virtual conversation with reigning Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi along with other MUP candidates, Hakenson said she looks up to the South African beauty queen for giving her confidence to join a pageant with short hair.
"You broke the status quo, you broke 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," she said.
To which Tunzi replied: "I love that you said you got that confidence because beauty comes in all shapes, forms, and sizes. I feel it should be celebrated."
Hakenson is one of the candidates hoping to represent the Philippines in the next Miss Universe pageant.
The country has so far won four times, courtesy of Catriona Gray (2018), Pia Wurtzbach (2015), Margie Moran (1973), and Gloria Diaz (1969).