The first born-male contestant to ever be approved for the global competition
For the first time in the international beauty pageant’s 66 year history, a transgender female has been approved to compete in Miss Universe.
Angela Ponce, a transgender woman who was born male, will be competing in the 2018 Miss Universe pageant against born-female competitors from around the world after being crowned Miss Spain.
Ponce will be the first biological man to ever take part in the Miss Universe competition.
In social media posts announcing their acceptance, Ponce said they want to be a “spokesperson for a message of inclusion, respect, and diversity” for the human race.
Ponce is also a fashion model who recently took part in multiple runway shows in Madrid, Spain.
Ponce has been celebrating the upcoming battle for the Miss Universe crown on Instagram.
The news comes amid myriad instances in which transgender individuals are sparking debate and outrage from the U.S military to Olympic sports.
Indeed, earlier this year, transgender Brazilian volleyball player Tifanny Abreu sparked controversy with critics slamming the South American country after Abreu dominated over rival teams.
Abreu has been dominating on the court this year in game-after-game.
However, critics say the competition is unfair because Abreu is a natural-born male competing as a transgender woman, The New York Times reported.
Abreu plans to make Brazil’s team for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, and if she does, she would become the first transgender volleyball player in the history of the games.
“Just like any other player, I’d like to go to the Olympics,” Abreu, who underwent sex reassignment surgery in 2012, recently told the media.
“But I know it’s not going to happen just because I’m getting all this attention.
“I’ve got to do my best as a player.”
While many are pointing to the situation as an example of “progress” for the transgendered, not everyone is supportive of Abreu’s inclusion on the women’s team.
Still, those who support the right of transgender athletes say questions over their suitability to compete is just another example of “homophobia.”
Needless to say, the debate is still raging over whether it is fair for athletes born as biological males to compete as women.