On Sunday night, the Miss Universe pageant crowned Catriona Gray from the Philippines as the winner, but another winner of the evening was Spain’s Angela Ponce, who made history as the pageant’s first transgender contestant.
The pageant was once owned by Donald Trump and lifted the ban on transgender contestants in 2012. Before the pageant, Ponce took to Instagram to express her gratitude for representing Spain, the transgender community and other marginalized voices.
“What an honor and pride to be part of the history of @missuniverse,” she wrote in Spanish. “This is for you, for those who have no visibility, no voice, because we all deserve a world of respect, inclusion and freedom. And today I am here, proudly representing my nation, all women and human rights.”
Ponce did not make the final round of 20, but she claimed a victory for representation and inclusivity.
The 67th Miss Universe pageant took place in Bangkok, Thailand and featured women from 94 nations. Once again, the pageant was hosted by Steve Harvey. Luckily, the pageant went smoothly and he announced the correct winner — as opposed to 2015 when he mistakenly announced Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez as the winner when the real winner was Miss Philippines, Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach.
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Que honor y orgullo poder ser parte de la historia de @missuniverse. Esto es por ustedes, por aquellos que no tienen visibilidad, ni voz, porque todos merecemos un mundo de respeto, inclusión y libertad. Y hoy estoy aquí, representando con orgullo a mi nación, a todas las mujeres y a los derechos humanos. • #missuniverse #missuniverso #confidentlybeautiful #thailand #bangkok #roadtomissuniverse #67thmissuniverse #angelaponce #spain #preliminar