Miss Spain Angela Ponce did not make it to the final round of 20 at the 2018 Miss Universepageant in Bangkok, Thailand.
Although there was a separate “Wild Card” round of 5 to round out the final group of women to 25, Ponce went home empty-handed and uncrowned as Miss Universe. Many people, however, still see her appearance in the pageant as a victory in and of itself.
Angela, 27, is the first transgender contestant to participate in the pageant since it reversed a longstanding rule that only “naturally born” women may join. It’s been a tough journey – she’s had to battle naysayers and doubters, even within the pageant-loving community.
Spain did not make it to the Top 20 but got a special video tribute after the finalists made their opening statements.
The video traced Angela’s struggles from childhood until she finally made it to Thailand, where the Miss Universe pageant was held. “I don’t need to win Miss Universe. I only need to be here,” she said in the video.