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Spain’s Angela Ponce Becomes First Trans Woman to Compete for Miss Universe

Trans women have competed in Miss Universe since 2013

Angela Ponce will become the first trans woman to compete in the Miss Universe, representing Spain in the pageant later this year. Ponce’s inclusion comes five years after trans women were first permitted to participate in the competition.

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

Miss Universe opened the doors to trans women after Canadian Jenna Talackova was barred from competing for her country’s Miss Universe spot since she was trans. Her dismissal led to protests from GLAAD and thousands of fans, who petitioned then-Miss Universe owner Donald Trump to allow trans women to compete. Trump agreed to the request, and the ban was lifted in 2013.

Miss Universe 2018 will take place later this year. A date and host nation have not yet been determined.