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>> She may not have won Miss Universe but she did make history. Angela Ponce is the first ever transgender contestant is the 66-year-old pageant.>> I think to be here, being the image, the voice, and talking about women's issues, especially those of transgender women and minors, I think is allowing me to enter many houses, many homes through the TV and the press.
And to create debates within families, conversations about something that has never been talked about and that is very positive.>> A group of her friends, family, and supporters cheered on the reigning Miss Spain at a screening of the contest in her hometown of Pilas in the south of the country.
Despite her not reaching the final 20, they were still extremely proud.>> This has been a historic day because a transgender person has reached a contest viewed by millions of people. And the most important thing is that she's brought her message until the end. A message of respect, tolerance, and diversity, for which she has been fighting all her life.
>> The final was held in Bangkok on Monday. The pageant airs in more than 190 countries with about half a billion viewers tuning in each year. The Miss Universe organization lifted a ban on transgender contestants in 2012. Also among the 94 contestants was Panama's first indigenous Miss Universe contestant.
Despite Ponce being the favorite with several bookmakers, it was Catriona Gray from the Philippines who won the crown.