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Angela Ponce becomes first transgender contestant in Miss Universe

Miss Spain didn’t advance to the top 20 but made history

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Angela Ponce made history as the first transgender contestant to compete in Miss Universe during the 2019 competition.

Ponce, 27, represented Spain in the Miss Universe competition, which took place in Bangkok, Thailand and aired live on Sunday. The competition featured women representing 94 nations around the world.

She didn’t win the crown, that honor went to Miss Philippines (Catriona Gray), or even make the top 20 but Ponce was grateful just for the representation.

“I don’t need to win Miss Universe,” Ponce said after her elimination.“I only need to be here.”

Later in the show, Miss Universe aired a pre-recorded segment which gave Ponce a platform to speak on the importance of her being in the competition.

“I’m here to represent diversity of humans in the world,” Ponce says. “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 that we must make all our lives easier together. That reality for many people is going to change.”

She also posted how monumental her inclusion in the pageant was on Instagram.

“What an honor and pride to be part of the history of @missuniverse,” Ponce penned in Spanish. “This is for you, for those who have no visibility, no voice, because we all deserve a world of respect, inclusion and freedom. And today I am here, proudly representing my nation, all women and human rights.”

Transgender women were banned from competing in Miss Universe until Jenna Talackova (Canada) challenged the ban and it was lifted in 2012. Ponce is the first transgender contestant to advance to the final competition.

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PHOTOS: Capital Pride Festival and Concert

Keke Palmer, Billy Porter among entertainers

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Billy Porter performs at the 2024 Capital Pride Festival on Sunday. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The 2024 Capital Pride Festival and Concert was held along Pennsylvania Avenue in Northwest D.C. on Sunday, June 9. Performers included Sapphira Cristál, Keke Palmer, Ava Max, Billy Porter and Exposé.

(Washington Blade photos by Michael Key)

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Out & About

Get ready for Baltimore Pride

Events scheduled throughout weekend

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Baltimore Pride Parade (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Baltimore Pride begins this weekend on Friday, June 14 in the heart of the city.

There will be a variety of events, the main ones being Mt. Vernon Pride on June 14 at 2 p.m. on the 200 Block of W. Read St., the Parade and Block Party on Saturday, June 15 at 3 p.m. on N. Charles St., and Pride in the Park on Sunday, June 15 at 3 p.m. at Druid Hill Park.

For more event details, visit Baltimore Pride’s website

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Out & About

New film festival to spotlight LGBTQ docs

DC/DOX held in theaters throughout city

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DC/DOX, a new film festival in Washington D.C., began on Thursday, June 13 at E-Street Cinema, the U.S. Navy Memorial Burke Theatre and Eaton Cinema.

The festival is dedicated to promoting documentary as a leading art form and a series of documentaries on LGBTQ+ stories will premiere, including “Love That Dares Not,” “Sabbath Queen,” and “Familia.” 

For more information, visit DC/DOX’s website.

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