Angela Ponce of Spain, has become the first transgender woman to compete in the Miss Universe contest.
Ponce, who is 26 years old, defeated nearly two dozen other contestants in Spain to become Miss Universe Spain, and win the right to represent that country in the Miss Universe pageant.
If anyone thought that Ponce might try to avoid using the international stage to advance the cause of transgender rights, that will not be the case. Instead, Ponce informed the Associated Press that advancing transgender rights is exactly what he will do.
“If my going through all this contributes to the world moving a little step forward, then that’s a personal crown that will always accompany me,” Ponce explained.
“Bringing the name and colors of Spain before the universe is my great dream,” Ponce wrote on Instagram after his victory. “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.”
“Transgender women were banned from competing until 2013 when Canada’s Jenna Talackova challenged the ruling,” the Hill reported.
The Miss Universe contest will air on Sunday night, with talk show personality Steve Harvey performing host duties.
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