Spain’s Angela Ponce just made history as the first openly transgender woman to compete in the Miss Universe pageant. While she didn’t win the title, her talent, charisma, and activism caught the attention of many, and her inclusion in the competition is a watershed moment in LGBTQ history.
As the New York Post reports, Ponce is the first openly transgender woman to compete in the Miss Universe contest in the 66 years that it has been running. The ban against transgender contestants was officially lifted in 2012, but Miss Spain is the first contestant to compete since the lift.
Previously, the Miss Universe competition was owned by Donald Trump. From Trump’s attempt to ban trans people from joining the military to his administration’s efforts to further marginalize and set back the trans community by asking the CDC to ban the word “transgender” from official documents, Trump has made his prejudice towards transgender folks obvious through his politics.
Miss Spain said in an interview with Glamour that she would love an opportunity to have an in-person discussion with President Trump. “I really don’t know what might cross his mind…but I would like to have a conversation one human being to another and try to explain to him that the rights I am fighting for are simply the rights of every human being,” she says. “I would try to make him feel in his heart the importance of understanding other people. And I would try to help him understand with the position that he’s in, he could help save lives.”
Miss Spain may not have won the pageant, but her words, bravery, and actions have won the hearts of people across the world. Her activism also set the stage for more trans folks to openly compete in pageants.
Article by: Allure