For the first time in history, a transgender woman will be taking part in the upcoming Miss Universe pageant later this year.
Angela Ponce from Spain won her country’s qualifying rounds against 22 other contestants. She’ll be representing Spain in Miss Universe 2018 that is set to take place in Philippines next December.
Ponce took to Instagram and wrote, “Bringing the name and colours of Spain before the universe is my great dream. 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.”
The Miss Universe Organisation ended its ban on transgender contestants in 2012. The decision came after transgender model Jenna Talackova legally challenged the authorities. Celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred took over the case as the organisation at the time was owned by current US president Donald Trump.
Upon hearing this news, pageant president Paula Shugart explained they had decided to change the rules before. She said: “The decision to include transgender women in our beauty competitions is a result of our ongoing discussions and not Jenna’s legal representation, which if anything delayed the process.” And she added that the pageant has always celebrated equality for all women.
Good luck Angela!
Angela was crowned Miss Universe Spain