Model Angela Ponce will be the first transgender woman to compete in Miss Universe after being crowned Miss Universe Spain.
The 26-year-old won her country’s qualifying rounds against 22 other contestants and will now compete in the Philippines this December for the upmost Miss Universe title.
Speaking about winning her country’s national competition, Ponce, who was born in Seville, said she had “fulfilled a dream” and that it was her “tenacity, perseverance, discipline, respect and self love” that won her the title.
“I close with The Crown of Miss Universe Spain a stage where I walk hand in hand with my family and friends always receiving their support and unconditional love, without them none of this would be possible,” Ponce said in an Instagram post.
Next, Ponce heads into the next stage of the pageant, competing for the most prestigious accolade of Miss Universe.
In an Instagram post, she says: “My goal: to be spokesperson for a message of inclusion, respect and diversity not only for the lgbtq+ community but for the whole world.”
Miss Universe lifted its ban to let transgender models compete in 2012 after Canadian contestant Jenna Talackova campaigned for inclusion with the backing of GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) and defence lawyer Gloria Allred.
They fought against Donald Trump, who owned the pageant at the time, to let Talackova compete – a case which they eventually won.
At the time, Donald Trump told CNN, “We made the decision two days before we even heard that (Allred) was involved.”
He then continued, “Had I known she was involved, maybe I wouldn’t have made that decision because she’s easy to beat.”
What better way to celebrate Pride month that with this news?
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