Miss Universe Is Getting Its First Ever Transgender Contestant

by : Charlie Cocksedge on : 16 Jun 2018 17:47
Angela PonceAngela PonceAngela Ponce/Instagram

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.

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

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

Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist and sub-editor 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.

Topics: Life, LGBT


Daily Mail and 1 other
  1. Daily Mail

    The first transgender woman to compete in Spain's Miss World beauty pageant reveals she is 'already a queen' despite being beaten to the title

  2. Advocate

    Trans Woman Makes History, Will Compete for Spain in Miss Universe