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Miss Spain Angela Ponce, the first transgender contestant in Miss Universe history, may not have won the competition — the nod went to Catriona Gray of the Philippines — but Ponce made a big splash nevertheless.

“Having a vagina does not make me a woman. I am a woman and already was before my birth,” Ponce said on camera prior to Sunday’s event, according to Agence France-Presse. Then, pointing to her head, Ponce added: “Because my identity is here, not down there. This determines my being a woman.”

Ponce also was quoted as saying, “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.”

While the 27-year-old from Sevilla didn’t make the top 20, Insider said the pageant nevertheless honored Ponce with a special segment during the live competition in Bangkok, Thailand.

“My hope is for tomorrow to be able to live in a world of equality for everyone, simply for us all to understand that we are human and we must make all our lives easier together,” Ponce said, according to the outlet. “If I can give that to the world, I don’t need to win Miss Universe, I only need to be here.”

Ponce hit the runway with what the Miss Universe pageant called “a walk to remember”:

In 2012, the pageant announced that it would permit transgender women to compete after Canadian transgender model, Jenna Talackova, filed a lawsuit.

Miss Universe was operated at the time by Donald Trump’s New York City-based organization and had stipulated that contestants must be natural-born women.

In a 2012 statement, GLAAD spokesperson Herndon Graddick said, “The Miss Universe Organization and Mr. Trump made it clear to GLAAD that they were open to making a policy change to include women who are transgender.”

Ponce — who was born a male but underwent gender reassignment surgery — said a recent interview with Time that if a transgender contestant won Miss Universe, it would send a message to Trump and “would be a win for human rights. Trans women have been persecuted and erased for so long. If they give me the crown, it would show trans women are just as much women as cis women.”

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Earnie Bailey

    December 18, 2018 at 2:57 am

    You MUST have a vagina to be a woman. This world is going to the weirdest generation ever. It really doesn’t matter if you are straight or gay, but does matter what you call yourself. If you are a woman you have a vagina. If you have a penis you are male. How hard is that to remember. Just because you “identify” as a gender will not change what defines your gender. Your brain is not a identity gender.

  2. pjt

    December 18, 2018 at 4:15 am

    Oh but you are wrong. Having a vagina and being able to produce children does make a woman a woman. And you don’t and you aren’t.

  3. JANET

    December 18, 2018 at 4:30 am

    What is it that these misfits don’t want to be the gender of which they are born? They spew this trash about ‘identifying’ as the opposite sex, they have their bodies mutilated through surgery, they demand that they be called/treated by their perceived gender…This is simply another manifestation of mental illness combined with the need for attention.
    My opinion is that whatever body parts who are born with should be the same upon death. Sickos, no wonder this world is such a mess!

  4. Barbara Constantino

    December 18, 2018 at 4:43 am

    Having been born with a penis, whether you had it cut off or not, still makes you a man.

  5. Lee Sullivan

    December 18, 2018 at 5:45 am

    Don’t care what he’s pointing to to claim he’s a female – God made him a man! No amount of surgery and pills for life will change that.

  6. Laurie

    December 18, 2018 at 5:49 am

    God says having a vagina IS what makes one a woman. I’d hate to be him when he stands before the Almighty. This fame whore keeps taking the spotlight off of the real contestants and even the winner of the pageant. Sickening.

    • Harry

      December 18, 2018 at 5:19 pm

      i love this comment this is the center of the argument the DNA is what defines you, plus your vagina or penis. nothing else really matters one could argue about the chest but that would be objectionable to most people if your a man at birth you can’rt have a cjhild simple ok if you are born a woman Girl you can give your partner a child end of story morons

  7. Rebecca Holstine

    December 18, 2018 at 6:13 am

    What his head tells him, just makes him nuts not a woman. I have never met a woman yet that didn’t have a vagina. Not a single one! And that includes him.

  8. Michigander

    December 18, 2018 at 3:16 pm

    This is how warped some people are. Your DNA shows whether you’re a woman or a man. Your body parts you were born with show whether you’re a woman or a man. This is sick.

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