For the first time in the history of the Miss Universe pageant, a transgender woman will compete for The Crown.
Angela Ponce, 26, won the Spanish Miss Universe competition on June 29, beating 22 other contestants for the coveted spot. Ponce, who lives in Seville, Spain, will compete in the Miss Universe world contest to be held in the Philippines in December.
"Put the name and colors of Spain before the universe is my big dream", wrote Ponce on Instagram after winning. "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 whole world."
Transgender women can not compete in Miss Universe until five years ago. In 2012, Canadian Jenna Talackova was banned from competing because she was trans, but with the help of attorney Gloria Allred, she legally challenged the rule and revoked it. The ban was lifted in 2013.
"Let's make history," Ponce tweeted two days after he won the title of Miss Universe of Spain.
Ponce competed in the Miss World Spain stage in 2015, but lost to Miss Barcelona Mireia Lalaguna.
"Society is not educated for diversity, it's what made me go public, I mean, here I am and I'm not weird," Ponce told Spanish newspaper 20 Minutos at that time. , according to Newsweek. "I only have a different story, a woman who came to life differently but I am a woman"