1st Transgender Miss Universe Candidate Crowned
Spain has crowned its first transgender Miss Universe contestant who will go on to represent her country at the prestigious international pageant later this year. Angela Ponce, a 26-year-old trans woman from Seville who previously represented Cadiz in the 2015 Miss World Spain contest, has become her country's first transgender representative. In 2015, she lost to Miss Barcelona Mireia Lalaguna who went on to win Miss World. Despite Angela's participation, at the time the Miss World Organization did not accept transgender contestants. In response, Angela said: "At least I have the regional (Cadiz) crown on my head." In 2012, rival contest Miss Universe announced that it would allow transgender beauty queens after Canadian model Jenna Talackova successfully sued Miss Universe Canada organisers for initially disqualifying her for being transgender. At the pageant in May 2012, Jenna made it into the Top 12 but failed to reach the Top five. However, she was one of four contestants awarded the title of Miss Congeniality. Angela, who is 181 centimetres (5 feet, 9 inches) tall, was crowned Miss Universe Spain at the same time as the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community's celebration of Pride Month. The beauty queen, who says she first identified as a woman at the age of three, will represent Spain at Miss Universe 2018 at a date yet to be set. One anonymous netizen said: "These people deserve to be on the international stage and show the world what LGBT stands for." Social media user 'XxxX' said: "Trans 'women' have a height advantage as men naturally grow taller. She is 1.81cm. Most women do not grow that tall. Height is an advantage in Miss Universe. I am against this on all levels. Shame on Spain for taking away the very few opportunities that women get and giving it to a man in drag."