News and Commentary

For The First Time, A Transgender Woman Will Compete For Miss Universe

Transgender woman Angela Ponce has snagged the Miss Spain crown, making her eligible to become the first transgender woman to compete in the Miss Universe pageant.

Ponce won the Miss Spain title over the weekend, the Advocate reports, and plans to attend the upcoming Miss Universe pageant, making her “the first transgender woman to compete on behalf of any country.”

Strangely enough, Ponce has now-President Donald Trump to thank for the opportunity. In 2012, when Trump still claimed ownership over the Miss Universe pageant, a Canadian transgender woman named Jenna Talackova petitioned, with the help of GLAAD, to compete to win Miss Canada.

She was barred, but after threat of litigation — and a petition signed by thousands — Trump relented, and opened the Miss Universe pageant to women-identifying competitors, not just those who are biologically female. Unlike Miss America, which claims to be a “scholarship program,” Miss Universe is primarily a beauty contest, so looks are the only thing that really matter.

Talackova went on to win Miss Congeniality Canada, but not the national title.

“Bringing the name and colors of Spain before the universe is my great dream,” Ponce wrote 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.”

“Let’s make history,” Ponce added on Twitter.