Considered as the most prestigious beauty pageant for Alternatives in Cebu, Queen attracts every MG-goers’ (Miss Gay Goers) in the metro. Bee Urgello, having no experience in a gay beauty pageant, braved the screening for the 3rd edition of Queen, bested all the beterana and rampadora candidates and went on to win the top plum – the Queen Universe title. Later this year, Bee will pass her crown but will forever retain her title. With no plans of joining other gay beauty pageants after her reign, Bee wants to be remembered as A Queen with Only One Title.
Bee Urgello was born with a silver spoon in her mouth (heck, her last name is a major street in Cebu). This could have been a fitting start for a fairy tale life but no, hers is a life just as normal as ours. Her story has its own share of ups and downs. Growing up in a conservative family and being the only boy among two siblings, feeling girly and being different was difficult and “unacceptable.” Same thing happened when Bee enrolled in an all-boy school where she, along with 5 other gay friends, experienced bullying. Taking strength from each other, they survived all four years and went on to become the Sacred Heart Heartbreakers. To assert her being different, Bee ran away from home and learned how to live independently. It opened her eyes to the bigger picture of what we call reality. It was her coming-out moment. Yes, it was difficult but that’s when she started expressing and accepting herself. Same as many alternatives in Cebu, Bee wanted to join Queen but was hesitant considering her relationship with her family. After being awarded as the Best Dressed in the 2010 Queen pageant, things started to look brighter for Bee. She reconciled with her family. Her mom asked her to come home and asked why she did not join the pageant. It was New Year of 2011 and that year became her year.
Bee screened for the 3rd edition of Queen
Just like everyone else, she dreamed of winning the crown but she just wanted to be part of the official candidates. After all, she was a newbie in beauty pageants. It didn’t help that most of the contestants are MG-goers – “puro mga ungo ug show.” On the finale night, Bee came out for the opening number shaking. I can’t imagine how she survived the night without fainting – a newbie in a prestigious show with grand production numbers – unbelievable! The moment she stepped out on the stage, she started scanning the audience for familiar faces – her mom’s face for that matter – in order to calm her nerves. It was inspiring: her family – from not accepting her for being different to shouldering all the expenses in joining Queen – and Bee – from running away from her family to drawing her strength and courage from them. The crown was not presented to Bee on a silver platter. She did not win any of the major awards. She was the 9th to be called out of the 10 finalists. Then, her now infamous answer to Boy Abunda’s question of why roses have thorns sealed her fate.
With a crown on her head, Bee is now fulfilling her duties as The Queen. Certainly, the pageant is not just about the glitz and glamour, but is also focused on the social responsibilities and charities that Clothes for Life Foundation Inc. (CFLFI) is supporting. Bee is also supporting The Coalition for the Liberation of Other Rising Sexes (COLORS), an organization very close to her heart. She is also lending her support in campaigning for the passing of Anti-Discrimination Bill in Congress. Known as “The Anti-Discrimination Act of 2010,” the bill aims to stop any form of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Bee is a proud Cebuana. Proud to be in a place where the old and the new, the traditional and the modern, the rural and the urban fuse together as one harmonious community. You could see the Pride in her eyes as we talked more about Cebu – a place which she calls HOME.
Bee surely had her share of kilig and heartbreaks. Her first love was when she was in college which lasted for a year. Her great love came when she was working in a call center. It was unforgettable. He made her feel so girly – opening the door for her and even paying their bills. How I wish you could have seen her glow as she narrated the experience. It was golden! For all the men out there, Bee Urgello is single and available. She’s been single for a year now, but is not in a rush to be in a relationship. A guy need not be “muy guapo.” He is looking for the appeal and for that guy to make her feel girly.
Get to know more about Bee Urgello as she answers the following one-liners:
Coffee or Tea (Water)
Heels or Flats
Black or White
Diamond or Pearl
Los Angeles or New York
Beer or Wine (Red Horse)
Briefs or Boxers
The interview ended after more than an hour of talk and laughter. It was memorable in many ways, but what stood out was Bee always maintained the queenly aura no matter how difficult or easy the question thrown at her. And the best way to end the perfect interview was to ask her the questions that Miss Universe queens had to answer to win their titles. Here they are:
032: If a man from the moon landed in your country, what would you do to entertain him?
Miss Universe 1969 – Gloria Diaz (Philippines)
BU: I’d ask him to join me in visiting my favorite places. I would also ask him about what he wants and the things that he is interested in. I would be a gracious host by adjusting my activities based on his interests.
032: What makes you blush?
Miss Universe 2002 – Oxana Fedorova (Russia)
BU: When I am with someone that I have feelings for.
032: A woman has just awakened from being asleep for 20 years, what do you tell her she missed?
Miss Universe 1998 – Wendy Fitzwilliam (Trinidad & Tobago)
BU: I will tell her everything that happened to her family. I will tell her what happened to them. It is our instinct as humans to be interested and care for our loved ones.
– I would like to extend my gratitude to the beautiful people behind www.zerothreetwo.com for trusting me with this assignment, to Bee Urgello for being A Queen and to Jaz, for the support.