26-year-old model Angela Ponce beat out 22 other contestants and took home the title of Miss Universe Spain at the country's national pageant over the past weekend. She is now set to compete in the Philippines this December and will be the first openly trans contestant at Miss Universe.
Angela, who comes from Seville, first made her big appearance on the pageant scene in 2015 at the Miss World Spain contest representing Cadiz. She lost out on the title to Miss Barcelona Mireia Lalaguna Royo, who went on to win the Miss World title in China that year. BUT WHAT A COMEBACK!
In an Instagram post—with her looking absolutely HOT posing in a swimsuit with the Spanish flag—she wrote in Spanish, "Wearing the name and colors of Spain before the universe is my great dream." She continued, "My goal: to be a spokesperson for a message of inclusion, respect, and diversity not only for the lgbtq+ community but for the whole world."
The Miss Universe competition first allowed trans women to compete back in 2012 when Jenna Talackova fought for her right to compete in Miss Universe Canada. Jenna later made it to the Top 12, and was one of the four contestants to be named "Miss Congeniality." It was women's rights lawyer Gloria Allred who defended her and made legal complaints with the Miss Universe Organization. Then-pageant owner Donald Trump told CNN, "We made the decision two days before we even heard that (Allred) was involved." He then continued, "Had I known she was involved, maybe I wouldn't have made that decision because she's easy to beat." Trump eventually sold Miss U to WME-IMG Talent Agency in 2015.
But let's forget about him for a second and celebrate the blessing that is TWENTY-GAY-TEEN!!! Pride all day every day!
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.