In 2012, The Miss Universe pageant lifted a ban that kept transgender individuals from competing and last night, they had their first transgender contestant. Spain’s Angela Ponce didn’t win or even make the top 20.
Ponce posted on Instagram that even though she didn’t win, she could still claim victory.
What an honor and pride to be part of the history of @missuniverse,” she wrote in Spanish. “This is for you, for those who have no visibility, no voice, because we all deserve a world of respect, inclusion and freedom. And today I am here, proudly representing my nation, all women and human rights.”
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Que honor y orgullo poder ser parte de la historia de @missuniverse. Esto es por ustedes, por aquellos que no tienen visibilidad, ni voz, porque todos merecemos un mundo de respeto, inclusión y libertad. Y hoy estoy aquí, representando con orgullo a mi nación, a todas las mujeres y a los derechos humanos. • #missuniverse #missuniverso #confidentlybeautiful #thailand #bangkok #roadtomissuniverse #67thmissuniverse #angelaponce #spain #preliminar
Others didn’t feel the same way, stating that Ponce’s inclusion in the all female pageant is actually anti-woman.
A biological male encroaches on a female-only playing field and it’s called “progress.” Sorry, that’s the exact opposite. There’s nothing more anti-woman. https://t.co/OmPEUuXJVo
— Kimberly Ross (@SouthernKeeks) December 16, 2018
Our progressive overlords are currently insisting that A) women deserve to be free and empowered instead of subjugated by male privilege but also that B) men can in fact *be women* just as well as women can. This worldview is totally incoherent. https://t.co/pii19T5fzc
— Alexandra DeSanctis (@xan_desanctis) December 17, 2018
For the 66th year in a row, Miss Universe is a biological woman. The bigotry is astounding. https://t.co/KE5RdOP9FW
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) December 17, 2018
Ponce was critical of President Trump, telling Yahoo:
“I always say: having a vagina didn’t transform me into a woman. I am a woman, already before birth, because my identity is here,” she told AFP, gesturing to her head.
She also took issue with the classification of trans people by large sections of society based on prejudice and narrow assessments of gender.
“Outsiders say what I can and cannot do, what I am and what I am not,'” Ponce said.
“No, I’m sorry. To be a woman is your identity. It doesn’t matter if you are white, black, if you have a vagina… if you have a penis.”
I promise you Trump does not care. https://t.co/0UuXdlVV0w
— Allie Beth Stuckey (@conservmillen) December 17, 2018
President Trump owned Miss Universe until 2015.