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Transwoman activitist makes history as first to qualify in Miss Universe Puerto Rico

By JUSTINE PUNZALAN Published Mar 04, 2023 3:30 pm

Daniela Arroyo González is out to redefine Miss Universe Puerto Rico as the first transgender woman to qualify in the prestigious pageant.

González was introduced as the pageant's first transgender candidate along with 37 other women vying for the national title on Feb. 28. She took her spot in the lineup after attempting to qualify twice.

Prior to making her foray into pageantry, González was among the group who won a federal lawsuit against Puerto Rico’s government that allows transgenders to change their sexual identity on their birth certificates.

The trans rights advocate is also the co-founder of the Puerto Rico Trans Youth Coalition which, according to AP, aims to provide a safe support group for trans youth in the U.S. territory.

She marked her inclusion in Miss Universe Puerto Rico 2023 with a video on Instagram, which she captioned "Let's make history together!"

"The emotion and pride that I feel in this moment overwhelms me with joy," González said in the video, as translated by People.

She went on to express her eagerness to share her "journey to the crown" with everyone before concluding the clip, saying, "It's time to show how far we can go. This is my time."

The winner of the 67th Miss Universe Puerto Rico pageant will represent the country at the global competition which will be held in El Salvador later this year.

Miss Universe has been allowing transgender women to take part in the pageant since 2013. Its first openly trans candidate to compete in the global stage is Miss Spain 2018 Ángela Maria Ponce Camacho.

In October of last year, Thai trans pioneer Anne Jakapong Jakrajutatip acquired the Miss Universe Organization for $20 million (~P1.2 billion).