A 27-year-old who underwent hormonal treatment and surgery to change from a man to a woman will become the first transgender person to complete in the Miss Universe pageant later this year.
Ángela Ponce won Spain’s beauty pageant in June.
“There are women with a penis and men with a vagina, because the only key part of being a woman is to be and feel like a woman,” Ponce told The New York Times.
Ponce was born in a conservative part of the country where “there was nobody like me.” Genital surgery was conducted when Ponce was 16. Most of the recent criticism has come from women, especially other beauty contestants.
“What strikes me is that a lot of the criticism has come from women and people from my own collective, just when women are taking to the streets to ask for recognition,” Ponce said. “I find it weird that some women don’t tolerate that I go to a competition to represent my country as the woman that I am.”
Ponce told the newspaper: “If we want progress, we just have to stop looking whether what other women are doing is good or not.”
Guillermo Escobar, president of Spain’s beauty contest, said the judges “simply valued her as a great woman.”
“She is a pioneer, sending a message of equality and respect, but my hope is that we will eventually have many more candidates like her and this will no longer make the headlines,” Escobar told The Times.
Michael Foust is a freelance writer. Visit his blog, MichaelFoust.com
Publication Date: July 16, 2018
Photo Courtesy: Thinkstock