Angela Ponce did not win the title of Miss Universe but she did something very crucial. She changed a long-standing norm. 

With her participation, Angela became the first transgender to represent her country in Miss Universe.

When asked about her gender identity, she said:

I always say: Having a vagina didn’t transform me into a woman. I am a woman, already before birth. Outsiders say what I can and cannot do, what I am and what I am not. 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.

Ours is not a very tolerant world, so yes, she did face bullying growing up. But then she takes it in her stride. 

Who hasn’t suffered from prejudice? Who hasn’t had to deal with bullying?

Angela works with a Spanish foundation that is trying to bring into the forefront issues associated with the marginalization of the transgender community.

As for the Miss Universe pageant, she was a sight no matter which round she was participating in. 

And she is hopeful of the future.

You can empower yourself like I have and turn something negative into your biggest strength. Children are born without prejudices and I think that if we talk to them about diversity from a young age… we can create a new generation of human beings who are raised a lot better, more tolerant and respectful.

We have believed in the conventional definitions of ‘gender’ and ‘beauty’ for years; now we’re approaching 2019 and it is high time that changed.