For the first time in Miss Universe History, a transgender woman has won the crown.
Yes, *gasp* is the most common reaction, but once you see her, you’ll know why. She is probably one of the most graceful and captivating transgender woman ever seen on screen.
Angela was crowned Miss Universe Spain on 29th June 2018, beating 22 fellow contestants in the pageant. She is the first ever transgender lady to contest for the Miss Universe title.
I always say: having a vagina didn’t transform me into a woman. I am a woman, already before birth, because my identity is here”Angela Ponce
It wasn’t always like this
Turns out, that the national selection of candidates for the Miss Universe pageant was not as accepting of transgender women earlier. However, it changed its policy after a certain Canadian model Jenna Talackova, a transgender woman, sued them in 2012. Jenna was disqualified for not being identified as female on birth.
Upon winning the lawsuit, Ms.Jenna went on to the top 12 in the pageant and was awarded the title of Miss Congeniality.
Despite the policy change, all was not a bed of roses for the Miss Universe Spain. There were naysayers and critics everywhere shaming her for stealing the crown from “real women”.
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My National Costume in Miss Universe is a traditional Spanish “bata de cola”. This is an iconic piece in Spain, also known all over the world; it is a precious reference of my country. To make this wonderful National Costume, @luisfernandezdisenador was inspired by a number of things. The first one being the white villages of Andalusia, since we wanted to honor where I come from (Seville). The white of the villages, of purity… White representing peace, the peace that I bring as my message hand and hand with equality, respect, inclusion and love. A white ‘bata de cola’ that crosses a river of beautiful red carnations made by @hatsbyroiz. Secondly we had the carnations as inspiration because they are the most typical and recognizable flower of my beautiful country. For that reason I wanted this flower and its color because it represents the love that, as Miss Universe Spain 2018, I’m transmitting to the whole world. That is the motivate behind a river of red carnations shaped around my head and body, almost as a Spanish flag. As complements, I carried a fan to expand the scent of our land, a beautiful tortoise-shell & Swarovski clip that crowns my head as Miss Universe Spain 2018.
Ponce’s personal life
The gorgeous Miss Universe Spain, was classified male at birth. However, she said she began identifying as a female, right from the age of 3. Backlash, bullying and unwarranted taunts were thrown at her for her personal choice. She admits suffering severe bullying in childhood. That it was only the love and support of her family, and friends, that saw her through the tough phase.
Speaking of her life she said, “I always thought it was very positive to dream. Many people do not have information on what it means to be a transgender woman. To have a part of you which tells you that your identity is female. Identity is with us since we’re born.”
Victorious though didn’t win the crown
Minds and hearts stirred, as she walked down the aisle of the Miss Universe pageant, though she did not win the crown, she says that just her being there is an achievement for her. Also, that she wants to be an example of success to people like her.
Her desire is to create awareness around the world towards the life and nature of transgender women. She is an advocate of inclusiveness, and works towards justice for all, as she says in her own words.
To eradicate intolerance, I think it would be very important to foster those values from a young age.”Angela Maria Ponce
A tribute video was made in honour of Angela, by Miss Universe. Post the playing of the video, stunning Ponce graced the stage one last time, as she was applauded by an international crowd at the pageant.