A transgender woman hoping to make history by becoming Miss World Spain has been pipped to the post but says she already feels like a winner.
Angela Ponce, 23, from Seville, represented Cadiz, the southernmost province of Spain, in the international beauty pageant.
Angela Ponce, 23, is the first transsexual woman to represent a province in the Miss World Spain pageant
Angela says knew from an early age that she was ‘different’.
She said: ‘When my parents asked me what toy I wanted, I went straight for the Barbies.’
The model, who still works at her parents’ restaurant, told 20minutos.es: ‘The bottom line is that my family supported me when I was little’ and she added that her father sat with her as she played with her dolls.
It was at age 11 when she began to investigate and discover transsexuality and could start to fight for being ‘who I really am’.
And while she wasn’t bullied at school, but says misunderstanding was rife and she now wants to help educate young people as, ‘people do not know what transsexuality is, they still confuse it with transvestism.’
After years of hormone therapy, in 2014, Angela had surgery to complete her transition.
Yet despite being the favourite, she failed to make it to the final ten in the beauty show held in Estepona, on the Costa Del Sol between Gibraltar and Marbella.
The first openly transsexual woman to compete to represent Spain was eliminated in the first knockout round
But she said: ‘As far as I’m concerned I’m a winner.’
Angela also said that the ‘battle continues’ to raise awareness for the transgender community in Spain.
‘Society is not educated for diversity and that is what has made me go public. Here I am and I’m not weird, I just have a different story,’ she said.
Speaking about the pageant, she said: ‘I introduced myself as Angela Ponce and won as Angela Ponce. It is part of my history and I have nothing to hide.’
Left: Angela is teary-eyed before the competing in Estepona. Right: She gets made up to compete
Angela supports the Daniela Foundation, which is dedicated to transsexuals and transgender issues
‘I have the regional crown on my head and I will keep fighting to make us seen, to make us heard and to demonstrate that I am already a queen with my own crown.
Angela now supports the Daniela Foundation, which is dedicated to sensitising the world about transsexuals and transgender issues.
Miss Asturias Angela Gonzalez came in as runner-up in the competition.