While she didn’t win the crown, Angela Ponce broke barriers on Monday in the 67th Miss Universe pageant. The 27-year-old Spanish beauty became the first transgender woman to ever participate in the international competition.
“I never imagined (I would make it to Miss Universe) because I lived in a society where everyone said I couldn’t do that,” Ponce told NBC’s “Today” through a translator. “And I didn’t have the information to realize that my dream to be a woman could ever actually be realized.”
Prior to this week’s pageant in Bangkok, Thailand, Ponce beat 20 other contestants in June to be crowned Miss Universe Spain. In the final competition, however, she did not make it to the final round.