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Miss Spain Angela Ponce Makes History As The First Transgender Candidate In Miss Universe History

Angela Ponce might not have won the crown, but her historic participation at Miss Universe 2018 was most definitely still a win, albeit of a different kind.

As the first transgender woman to enter the world's most prestigious pageant, Angela ushered in gender equality, bringing teary-eyed pride to members of international LGBTQIA+ communities she has come to represent. 

 

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In an unprecedented moment during the competition's live show, a video in honor of the 27-year-old human rights activist was presented to a cheering audience, opening the stage to a blazing runway walk by the Spanish candidate. 

 

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Her time onstage, although brief, was nothing short of touching and extraordinary. Angela received a prolonged standing ovation, humbly accepting the recognition and opportunity to further her life's mission and advocacies. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by ANGELA PONCE (@angelaponceofficial) on

 

Like a true beauty queen, Angela aims to use her newly gained visibility for uplifting others, rather than using it for personal gain. 

In particular, she hopes to shine the spotlight on the issues of the increase in suicide rates among transgender teens and the changing rules of pageants that have begun to accommodate the world's transforming attitudes towards gender equality. 

 

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As someone who transitioned from a biological man to a trans woman, Angela knows the difficulties of the process and social pressures the life-changing choice brings about all too well. Even with an arena cheering her on at Miss Universe's coronation night, she knows that many will continue to oppose—even harass—her, but she is choosing to put on a brave face, never to be fazed by difficulty. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Angela's Miss Universe run is her second attempt at pageants. Her first foray in beauty competitions was in 2015, when she was Spain's representative at Miss World.

 

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She was informed on the day of the pageant that its rules prohibited a trans woman to win, yet, she had done her best despite knowing that her efforts would not bring her to the top spot. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by ANGELA PONCE (@angelaponceofficial) on

 

To date, one of the most powerful statements she's made about her causes was about US President Donald Trump. 

The LGBTQIA+ icon pointed out that the businessman-turned-politician who has expressed his disapproval of gender diversity once owned the Miss Universe pageant; hence, the fact that she became a part of its 2018 edition and played a major role in transforming its rules is a victory she holds dear to her heart. 

 

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“I don’t need to win Miss Universe. I just need to be here,” she said.

See photos and clips from her historic Miss Universe run below!

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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So proud of @angelaponceofficial great job!!! Pinaiyak mo ko! #AngelaPonce #Spain???? #MissUniverse

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Photos from @angelaponceofficial