LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA/AFP/Getty Images(BANGKOK) — Miss Philippines Catriona Gray took home the crown at the 2018 Miss Universe pageant on Sunday night in Bangkok, Thailand, but she wasn’t the only winner of the night.
Miss Spain’s Angela Ponce became the competition’s first transgender contestant, a major step for the 66-year-old pageant.
Ponce didn’t make the competition's top 20 but was still grateful to be there.
“What an honor and pride to be part of the history of @missuniverse,” she wrote in an Instagram post.
She went on, “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.”
During the competition, the 27-year-old received a standing ovation while walking the runway.
"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," she said in a segment that aired during the show. “That reality for many people is going to change.”
"If I can give that to the world, I don't need to win Miss Universe, I only need to be here,” she added.
Ponce was crowned Miss Spain in June.
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