A model made history on Friday, (June 29), winning the Spanish qualifying contest to represent Spain at the Miss Universe pageant.
As a result, she has become the first transgender entrant for the competition.
26-year-old Angela Ponce won the Spanish crown at last weekend’s event, and will now represent her country at the 67th Miss Universe pageant later this year in the Philippines.
The Miss Universe Organisation ended its ban on transgender contestants in 2012.
Taking to Instagram after her win, Angela wrote:
Bringing the name and colours of Spain before the Universe is my great dream.
My goal: to be a spokesperson for a message of inclusion, respect and diversity not only for the LGBTQ+ community but for the entire world.
Angela first appeared in a pageant in 2015, competing for Miss World Spain – which is not affiliated with Miss Universe.
While she didn’t win that year’s crown, (losing out to Miss Barcelona), she was happy to represent her province, Cadiz.
Speaking to the Daily Mail at the time, she said:
I have the regional crown on my head and I will keep fighting to make us seen, to make us heard and to demonstrate that I am already a queen with my own crown.
La vida está llena de retos, de desafíos, comprender eso en mi vida ha hecho que hoy haya cumplido un sueño que siempre tuve, para ello lo único que necesite fue convertir cada obstáculo que se me presentaba como una oportunidad de crecimiento. Desde mi tenacidad, con constancia, disciplina, respeto, amor a mi misma cierro con La Corona del Miss Universo España una etapa donde camine de la mano de mi familia y amigos recibiendo siempre su apoyo y amor incondicional, sin ellos nada de esto sería posible. @daniela_fundacion por permitirme crecer y ser mejor persona a su lado. Y a mis preparadores @juliomatamoros_hair y @jorgematamorosmakeup por confiar en mi y regalarme su tiempo, sus conocimientos y su ilusión. Hoy comienza un nuevo ciclo para mí, comprometida conmigo misma, con mi misión de vida, con España, voy rumbo al @missuniverse, con la conciencia y el compromiso de llevar adelante un mensaje de inclusión, respeto, tolerancia, amor por uno mismo, amor por los demás. De la mano de @orgbemiss y @guillermoescobaroficial, llevando a adelante nuestro slogam: “SOMOS MÁS DE LO QUE VES”, les doy las Gracias por acompañarme en este maravilloso viaje, por creer en mí, por darme la oportunidad de poner un granito de arena por una sociedad que merece cambios, dejar una huella sembrada en cada ser humano que la vida me ponga en mi camino. Gracias por cada mensaje lleno de amor que me han enviado…
As Advocate reports, Angela is able to compete thanks to trailblazer Jenna Talackova, a Canadian model and television personality.
In 2012, when Donald Trump still owned the pageant, Talackova had been barred from competing to win the Canadian crown.
However, Talackova and her lawyer challenged the competition organisers, as well as Trump, to reverse the decision and allow her to compete.
The challenge worked, and the organisation reversed its decision before it was taken to court.
Though Talackova didn’t win the competition overall, she paved the way for transgender models, and since then, all trans women have been allowed to compete.
Hoping to become the first transgender Miss Universe, Angela wrote:
Let’s make history
— Angela Ponce-Official (@angelaponceoff) July 1, 2018
Earlier this year, Playboy magazine featured a transgender model on its front cover for the first time, in the German edition of the magazine.
21-year-old German model Giuliana Farfalla, was featured topless on the front cover, which is traditional for Germany’s Playboy magazines.
The magazine’s editor-in-chief, Florian Boitin, claimed the inclusion of Giuliana was in line with Hugh Hefner’s tradition of being ‘resolutely opposed [to] any form of exclusion and intolerance’.
Giuliana, who was born Pascal Radermacher in the German city of Breisgau, is already well known in her home country.
She explained how, since childhood, she always felt like she was in the wrong body and at the age of 16 underwent gender reassignment.
She posted a ‘safe for work’ preview of her upcoming cover with a caption saying:
My dears, I’m on the latest Playboy cover and very proud of the result. I hope you like the cover as much as I do.
Last year Giuliana was a contestant on Germany’s Next Top Model, an adaptation of the popular US show. She said she hoped her appearance would encourage transgender and transsexual people.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.