Angela Ponce, Miss Spain makes history as first transgender woman.
The Miss Universe pageant in Bangkok, Thailand, was one of firsts on Sunday.
The pageant had its first-ever transgender woman competing. She’s Angela Ponce of Spain.
“What I feel by being the first transgender contestant at Miss Universe is a big sense of responsibility, it gives me a lot of pride, and personally, I’m very proud to have made it here,” Ponce said. “I’ve been in the press, on TV, and I’ve put the conversation on the table. It was a topic that was not spoken about — what does it mean being a transgender person.”
Ponce believes that mindsets about the LGBT community are changing.
“Today, there are positive references. People speak about the LGBT community, and the transgender community. Before it was always underground and never spoken about. I think that people are more and more informed. All these prejudices come from disinformation,” Ponce said.
Although Ponce is proud of being a transgender woman, she says the hardest obstacle she has had to overcome is being born into a world that “wasn’t prepared” for trans people.
“We don’t have the same rights, but we have the same obligations. At school, disinformation is what becomes prejudice; the bullying, the fact that you feel alone, excluded. I always say that it’s not that you feel like a woman, you already are a woman. A transgender is not a man or a boy who feels like a woman, she’s already a transgender person,” Ponce explained. “There are no wrong bodies.”
Ponce has advice for all transgender girls and women.
“We have to be happy, feel free, go with the flow, have less prejudices, have more love and be more tolerant of everything,” she said.
The Philippines’ Catriona Gray was named Miss Universe 2018.
Gray wore a sparkling red dress that she said was inspired by a volcano in the Philippines as she was handed the crown to the delight of a roaring crowd in the Thai capital that generally favored Southeast Asian contestants.
The 24-year-old singer and model said she wore red because “when I was 13, my mom said she had a dream that I would win Miss Universe in a red dress.” She said her mom cried when they saw each other after she won the competition, the 67th Miss Universe pageant.
Gray edged out first runner-up Tamaryn Green of South Africa and third-place Sthefany Gutierrez of Venezuela. She succeeds Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters of South Africa.