Ángela Ponce, 26, has made history by becoming the first transgender woman to win Miss Universe Spain. The model, from Seville, will now go on to represent Spain at Miss Universe, becoming the first ever transgender contestant in the beauty pageant’s history.
“I am very proud that my country has made history… It shows we are inclusive, and I’m going to carry a message of inclusion, tolerance, respect, love for yourself and for others to Miss Universe,” Ponce said after being crowned on June 29, in Tarragona.
It is not the first beauty contest Ponce has entered. In 2015, she was crowned Miss Cádiz but was prevented from competing in the next round, Miss Spain. “I couldn’t win Miss Spain because the Miss World organisation does not admit transgender women,” Ponce told Spanish media. “Three years later I decided to try again because in Miss Universe it’s possible.”
The Miss Universe competition, which has been running since 1952, ended its ban on transgender competitors in 2012.
Ponce will compete in the Miss Universe competition in the Philippines later this year. If she wins, she will become the first transgender woman to win the coveted accolade.