The first-ever transgender contestant in the Miss Universe contest says that, if she wins the crown, it will send “more than a message” to President Donald Trump.
Miss Universe Spain 2018, Angela Ponce, is the first transgender to win her country’s pageant. In an interview with Time.com, Ponce was asked if winning the title “would be a rebuke” to former owner of Miss Universe Donald Trump:
Q: “Donald Trump, the former owner of Miss Universe, didn’t allow transgender contestants until 2012 and has threatened trans rights since becoming President. If you get the crown, would it be a rebuke to him?”
Ponce: “More than a message to him, it would be a win for human rights. Trans women have been persecuted and erased for so long. If they give me the crown, it would show trans women are just as much women as cis women.”
Ponce says she would compete even if Trump still owned Miss Universe, because "most people who don’t understand me, it’s not because they’re bad people. It’s because no one taught them about diversity."
Ponce advocates “gender diversity and equality” and works for “the empowerment of young women and families,” according to her biography on the Miss Universe 2018 website:
“Angela Ponce has dedicate her efforts towards the empowerment of young women and families to be proud of who they are. She campaigns to promote gender diversity and equality. Angela is also the first transgender woman ever to be crowned Miss Universe Spain. If she takes home the crown, she wants to want to spread tolerance and respect towards oneself and others globally. Angela is looking forward to making her country proud at this year's Miss Universe competition.”
The 2018 Miss Universe contest will be held on December 16th in Bangkok, Thailand.