On December 16th the world will be watching as women from 94 countries and territories from around the globe vie for the crown and title of Miss Universe 2018. The 67th annual Miss Universe event will take place in Bangkok, the third time the event is held in Thailand. This year is historic, however, as Angela Ponce, the contestant from Spain enters the event as the first transgender woman to get to this point in the competition.
27-year-old Ponce was crowned and named the representative from Spain in June after years of competing in pageants. While pageants are often seen as events that objectify women, for Ponce, this platform is one of empowerment where she is claiming her femininity and taking a stand for her freedom to be who she is. Now, as Ponce enters into the most prestigious pageant in the world, it is believed that she is an early favorite to take home the crown as she has been a vocal advocate for trans rights and wishes to continue international work on trans visibility.
Ponce shared with LGBTQ Nation:
I’m very excited that I have not run into any obstacles, and all my competitors have accepted me very nicely. I feel like I’m being treated like anybody else — and to be here is marvelous.
Me being here and being accepted shows the rest of the world that I’m like any other girl. I think that I can open a lot of minds and eliminate a lot of prejudice: prejudice that is not founded in reality.
My main message would be one’s right to their identity before turning 18 years old. The children should have the right to use whichever bathroom they identify with, and they should be supported by education in grade schools, because this could benefit everybody in the future.
Does Ponce's firm platform give her an advantage to the 2018 title?
h/t: LGBTQ Nation