A Spanish model made history this week by becoming the first ever transgender model to compete for the Miss Universe title. The competition took place this past weekend, on December 16th, in Thailand.
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Que honor y orgullo poder ser parte de la historia de @missuniverse. Esto es por ustedes, por aquellos que no tienen visibilidad, ni voz, porque todos merecemos un mundo de respeto, inclusión y libertad. Y hoy estoy aquí, representando con orgullo a mi nación, a todas las mujeres y a los derechos humanos. • #missuniverse #missuniverso #confidentlybeautiful #thailand #bangkok #roadtomissuniverse #67thmissuniverse #angelaponce #spain #preliminar
Catriona Grey, from the Philippines, was the overall winner of the competition, though Angela was happy to be a transgender participant regardless. According to Angela:
“My hope is for tomorrow to be able to live in a world of equality for everyone, simply for us all to understand that we are human and we must make all our lives easier together. If I can give that to the world, I don’t need to win Miss Universe, I only need to be here.”
"I'm here to eradicate the intolerance and to raise Equality for everyone, even if I will not win the title"
— Shawpejhay🌈 (@shawpejhay) December 17, 2018
Surprisingly, a recent owner of the Miss Universe Competition used to be Donald Trump. Under his regulation, trans models were barred from competing for Miss Universe. That is, until Jenna Talackova, a Canadian television personality, challenged those rules alongside her lawyers.
Her challenge was heard, and the organisation reversed its decision before it was taken to court. Though Jenna wasn’t the overall winner of that year’s Miss Universe competition, she paved the way for trans models all over the world to be able to compete for the title.
Angela Ponce may have not won the competition this year, but hosts commemorated her by stating that she possesses all of the ‘the attributes expected of a Miss Universe contestant’.
Hosts also organized a special screening during the event, a video montage created in Angela’s honor.