Last Friday, the new Miss Universe-Spain was crowned and it was a historic moment. Angela Ponce, a 26-year-old model, is the first transgender woman to join the prestigious Miss Universe pageant happening later this year.
Angela bested 22 other contestants in her home country and dreams to be an ambassador for inclusion and diversity.
“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,” she said.
Her win also occurred on the same weekend that Spain held their first Pride march.
This isn’t the first time that Angela Ponce joined a major pageant in Spain. Mirror reports that she represented Cadiz in Miss World Spain in 2017. Miss Barcelona won that year.
Meanwhile, Miss Philippines Catriona Gray chimed in on Angela’s win and says she has no problem with it. “Who are we to say that’s wrong? I mean it’s a discussion talaga of the organization talaga… I’m trying to see from all of the sides. But aside from that we need to consider that this contestant didn’t wake up one day saying ‘I wanna be a woman.’ This is someone who identifies [that she is a woman] since she was a child,” she told Push ABS-CBN.
(Contrary to what Catriona said though, the Miss Universe Organization lifted the ban on transgender contestants in 2012. So there’s no chance that Angela’s win will be forfeited because of her gender identity.)
There’s still no date and venue yet on when the 67th Miss Universe pageant will be held. (It’s not going to be in the Philippines, according to Department of Tourism secretary Berna Romulo Puyat.)