Angela Ponce is all set to represent Spain in the Miss Universe 2018 pageant, which will be held in Bangkok on 17 December. Ponce is the first-ever transgender model to ever participate in the Miss Universe pageant.
Her participation is particularly poignant as the contest was owned by Donald Trump until 2015, when he offloaded the business in the run-up to his run for president.
Speaking to TIME, the 27-year-old Spanish said:
"I’m showing that trans women can be whatever they want to be: a teacher, a mother, a doctor, a politician and even Miss Universe."
In 2012 the Miss Universe organisation lifted a ban on transgender contestants.
The last time Spain won the Miss Universe competition was in 1974, when Amparo Munoz was crowned winner.
Addressing the Trump administration’s anti-transgender actions, Ponce said her victory would be an important symbol in a contest many still associate with the leader.
"If they give me the crown, it would show trans women are just as much women as cis women. It would be a win for human rights. Trans women have been persecuted and erased for so long."
Angela Ponce, who beat 20 other contestants in the Miss Universe Spain competition to qualify to represent the country, is the favourite to win Miss Universe.
Ponce, who lives in the Spanish city of Seville, wrote on Instagram after her win
"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."
All the best to you from India. Her participation and a (hopeful) victory will help end the discrimination faced by the transgender community.
(With inputs from PinkNews.com)
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