Miss Universe Philippines 2023 Michelle Dee lists advocacies she supports in Twitter Q&A

May 30, 2023 - 3:53 PM
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Composite photo of Michelle Dee (michelledee/Instagram)

Autism acceptance and LGBTQIA+ rights are among the many advocacies Miss Universe Philippines 2023 Michelle Dee supports.

Michelle disclosed this in a question-and-answer activity called hashtag #AskMMD she held with her followers on Twitter on May 28. This was more than a week since she snagged the major crown of the prestigious national pageant.

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“Let’s do it. Answering a few Qs because why not! #AskMMD,” she tweeted.

Twitter user @gabbifilms asked Michelle if she has other advocacies that she supports besides autism awareness.

“Aside from autism awareness, what do you advocate for?” the Twitter user asked.

Michelle has been vocal about her cause for autism awareness and acceptance in the Philippines since her journey in the Miss World Philippines competition in 2019. She snagged the major crown on that year.

In her reply, the Makati City representative on May 29 enumerated her other advocacies to the Twitter user:

  • Mental health
  • LGBTQIA+ inclusivity
  • Adoption
  • Women empowerment
  • Children’s rights or saving the children

In an episode of “Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho,” Michelle revealed that she has two brothers with autism spectrum disorder.

She also lamented how Filipinos bully autistic individuals and throw insults at them.

“The common terms would be like, ‘retarded’ or ‘stupid’ or ‘dysfunctional.’ I always defended them if anything because that’s what we do with the family. But at the same time, it was so frustrating for me to see how they were being treated,” Michelle bared in the interview. 

The Kapuso actress described it as her “life-long advocacy” to help people who are diagnosed with autism and their families.

“It’s always been a life-long advocacy for me to advocate for autism awareness, autism acceptance, and inclusivity,” Michelle said in the episode.

“From education to healthcare to governments giving people with disabilities the proper opportunities, kulang pa talaga,” she added.

Michelle’s support for LGBTQIA+ rights, meanwhile, came ahead of her coming out as a member of the community through an exclusive article from Mega Magazine.

In the article, which was published on May 29, the newly minted MUPH titleholder explained that she wanted people to remember her for her main goal of fighting for autism awareness and not her gender.

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“This is about the cause I’m fighting, and advocating for—autism awareness. That’s my main goal. My identity is not what I want to be remembered for,” Michelle was quoted in the report as saying. 

“I felt like coming out during the competition would shock everyone and cloud everyone’s judgment. I also wanted to do that within my own timeline, and it wasn’t the right time. Because I want all of my focus and everyone’s focus to be on all the good causes,” she added.

Michelle will represent the Philippines in the 72nd Miss Universe to be held in El Salvador later this year.