Five years after trans women fought their way into contention in the pageant Angela Ponce [L-R photo], became the first transgender woman who will compete for her country in the global Miss Universe pageant
For the first time ever, a transgender woman will compete for her country in the Miss Universe pageant, with Angela Ponce having been crowned as Spain’s representative.
Ángela Ponce, 26, made history on Friday when she was crowned Miss Universe Spain, becoming the pageant’s first transgender titleholder.
“Bringing the name and colors of Spain before the universe is my great dream,” wrote Ponce in Spanish on Instagram shortly after her win, reports The Advocate.
“My goal is to be a spokesperson for a message of inclusion, respect and diversity not only for the LGBTQ+ community, but also for the entire world.”
In 2012, the Miss Universe Organization ended its ban on transgender contestants. Ponce will go on to represent her country at the Miss Universe pageant later this year.
Angela Ponce this weekend won the Spanish crown and now becomes the first transgender woman to compete on behalf of any country, thanks to trailblazer Jenna Talackova of Canada.
Angela Ponce, became the first transgender woman to win a major beauty pageant when was crowned Miss Universe, Spain 2018, over the weekend
“Let’s make history,” Ponce wrote in English on Twitter in celebration
Angela Ponce tagged pride month after her victory
Back in 2012 when Donald Trump still owned the pageant, Talackova had been barred from competing to win the Canadian crown, until Trump sided with GLAAD and thousands of people who petitioned him in the fight over inclusion.
Talackova who promoted her cause with high-profile attorney Gloria Allred at her side , was allowed to compete and went on to win Miss Congeniality in Canada.
After that history making victory all trans women were allowed to compete in Miss Universe starting in 2013.
Angela Ponce as a boy: Back then, I knew I was different Angela said
In 2013, Angela Ponce, then 23, from Seville, represented Cadiz, the southernmost province of Spain, in the country version of Miss World pageant.
She lost out to Miss Barcelona, Mireia Lalaguna, but at the time said: ‘I have the regional crown on my head and I will keep fighting to make us seen, to make us heard and to demonstrate that I am already a queen with my own crown.’
Trail blazer: Angela Ponce [center], became the first transsexual woman to represent a province in the Miss World Spain pageant in 2013
Angela says knew from an early age that she was ‘different’.
She said: ‘When my parents asked me what toy I wanted, I went straight for the Barbies.’
The model, who still works at her parents’ restaurant, told 20minutos.es: ‘The bottom line is that my family supported me when I was little’ and she added that her father sat with her as she played with her dolls.
It was at age 11 when she began to investigate and discover transsexuality and could start to fight for being ‘who I really am’.
And while she wasn’t bullied at school, but says misunderstanding was rife and she now wants to help educate young people as, ‘people do not know what transsexuality is, they still confuse it with transvestism.’
After years of hormone therapy, in 2014, Angela had surgery to complete her transition.
Yet despite being the favourite, she failed to make it to the final ten in the beauty show, still she was not discouraged.
Ponce at the 2013 Miss World contest in Spain: The beauty queen who started life as a boy discovered very early in life that she was a woman trapped in the wrong body
Angela [center],who won her regional crown in the 2013 Miss World Spain, at the time vowed to conue her fight for gender acceptance
The first openly transsexual woman to compete to represent Spain was eliminated in the first knockout round
But she said: ‘As far as I’m concerned I’m a winner.’
Angela also said that the ‘battle continues’ to raise awareness for the transgender community in Spain.
Speaking about the pageant, she said: ‘I introduced myself as Angela Ponce and won as Angela Ponce. It is part of my history and I have nothing to hide.’
‘Society is not educated for diversity and that is what has made me go public. Here I am and I’m not weird, I just have a different story,’ she said.