Miss Spain Angela Ponce Makes History as the First Transgender Contestant to Compete for the Miss Universe Title

She didn’t take home the Miss Universe crown, but Angela Ponce has left in indelible mark on the international beauty pageant.

The 27-year-old Spanish model and beauty pageant titleholder, who’d already made history in June as the first transgender woman to ever be crowned Miss Spain, made historyat Miss Universe 2018 as the first transgender contestant competing for the title.

Miss Spain Angela Ponce

Ponce received a standing ovation during the coronation night in Thailand, as well as a special tribute by the beauty pageant organization via a video recognition.

After the video was shown, Ponce walked on stage, removed her sash and held it up triumphantly in the air.

“I don’t need to win Miss Universe. I just need to be here,” Angela said.

Miss Spain Angela Ponce

“What I feel by being the first transgender contestant at Miss Universe is a big sense of responsibility, it gives me a lot of pride, and personally I’m very proud to have made it here,” Ponce said. “I’ve been in the press, on TV, and I’ve put the conservation on the table. It was a topic that was not spoken about, what does it mean being a transgender person.”

Ponce believes that mindsets about the LGBT community are changing.

“Today, there are positive references. People speak about the LGBT community, and the transgender community. Before it was always underground and never spoken about. I think that people are more and more informed. All these prejudices come from disinformation,” Ponce said.

Although Ponce is proud of being a transgender woman, she says the hardest obstacle she has had to overcome is being born into a world that “wasn’t prepared” for trans people.

“We don’t have the same rights, but we have the same obligations. At school, disinformation is what becomes prejudice, the bullying, the fact that you feel alone, excluded. I always say that it’s not that you feel like a woman. You already are a woman. A transgender is not a man or a boy who feels like a woman, she’s already a transgender person,” Ponce explained. “There are no wrong bodies.”

Ponce has advice for all transgender girls and women.

“We have to be happy, feel free, go with the flow, have less prejudices, have more love and be more tolerant of everything,” she said.

Spain’s Lalaguna Named Miss World

The world is Mireia Lalaguna’s oyster…

The 22-year-old Spanish model was crowned Miss World on Saturday at the 65th edition of the beauty pageant, held in the Chinese city of Sanya.

Miss World Mireia Lalaguna

Lalaguna, a Barcelona-native with a degree in pharmacology, outshined second-place Miss Russia, Sofia Nikitchuk, and Miss Indonesia, Maria Harfanti, who came in third.

For the first time ever Spain was victorious at the Miss World contest, which was launched in Britain and is considered the longest running beauty pageant on the planet, though another Spaniard, Amparo Muñoz, took home the Miss Universe title in 1974.

Lalaguna, with her blonde locks combed back on one side and wearing a stunning blue dress that bared her back, took her place on the queen’s throne where she was crowned by the winner of the 2014 contest, South Africa’s Rolene Strauss, with the glittering blue diadem she will wear over the coming year.

Lalaguna Catalan could not hide her shock, even from the time she made it into the finals ahead of big favorites like the beauties from France, Venezuela and the host country China.

Also among the five finalists were Miss Jamaica, Sanneta Myrie, and Miss Lebanon, Valerie Abou Chacra, while the Ecuadorian Maria Camila Marañon was the best classified Latin American after making it into the top 20.

The gala was held at the Beauty Crown Culture Center in Sanya, a complex outside the city with extravagant skyscrapers shaped like gigantic trees, a resort that has now hosted the pageant for the sixth time.