Pride Month might be over, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t celebrate this latest victory for the LGBTQ community. For the first time in history, a transgender woman will be competing in the Miss Universe pageant, and this is obviously huge news.
According to Express, 26-year-old Angela Ponce won Miss Spain on June 29th after competing against 22 other contestants, and that means that later this year, she’ll be competing in the 2018 Miss Universe pageant when it’s held in the Philippines in December, making her the first trans woman ever to compete.
Considering the fact that, until 2012, trans women were banned from the competition, this is a Very Big Deal, and it seems like Ponce is excited for the opportunity. Earlier this week, she shared a photo on Instagram of herself in her crown after winning the pageant, thanking the people who have been there for her from the start.
Her caption is in Spanish, but she writes that she has finally accomplished a lifelong dream and that she will continue working towards tolerance and acceptance for all people.
“Today begins a new chapter for me,” she wrote in Spanish. “I’m going to the @missuniverse pageant with the awareness and commitment to carry forward a message of inclusion, respect, tolerance, love for oneself, love for others.”
So many congratulations to Ponce, the new Miss Spain. We can’t wait to see her compete, because whether or not she wins Miss Universe is irrelevant — just by competing at all, she’s changing the world. Fingers crossed that this leads to even more inclusion in pageants from here on out. All women deserve the chance to shine — in whatever way they choose.