For the first time ever, a transgender woman will compete for her country in the Miss Universe pageant, with Angela Ponce having been crowned as Spain’s representative.
Angela Ponce this weekend won the Spanish crown and now becomes the first transgender woman to compete on behalf of any country. Ponce is able to do that thanks to trailblazer Jenna Talackova of Canada. Back when Donald Trump still owned the pageant in 2012, Talackova had been barred from competing to win the Canadian crown, until Trump sided with GLAAD and thousands of people who petitioned him in the fight over inclusion.
Talackova — who also had high-profile attorney Gloria Allred on her side — was allowed to compete and went on to win Miss Congeniality in Canada; then all trans women were allowed to compete in Miss Universe starting in 2013.
“Let’s make history,” Ponce wrote in English on Twitter in celebration, tagging Pride Month to note her win’s timing at the end of June.
“Bringing the name and colors of Spain before the universe is my great dream,” wrote Ponce in Spanish on Instagram. “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.”
See photos from Ponce’s Instagram account below.