Angela Ponce makes history as 1st transgender Miss Universe contestant

PHOTO: Angela Ponce of Spain poses on stage during the 2018 Miss Universe national costume presentation in Thailand, Dec. 10, 2018.PlayLillian Suwanrumpha/AFP/Getty Images
WATCH Contestant makes history at Miss Universe pageant

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.

PHOTO: Miss Spain Angela Ponce, center, the first transgender woman to take part in the Miss Universe contest, with Miss Universe 2018 contestants visits the Government House in Bangkok, Thailand, Dec. 11, 2018. Narong Sangnak/Pool Photo via AP
Miss Spain Angela Ponce, center, the first transgender woman to take part in the Miss Universe contest, with Miss Universe 2018 contestants visits the Government House in Bangkok, Thailand, Dec. 11, 2018.

“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.

“If my going through all this contributes to the world moving a little step forward, then that’s a personal crown that will always accompany me,” she told The Associated Press at the time.