Last week, the 28-year-old flight attendant Marina Machete made history last week by becoming the first transgender woman to win the Miss Portugal title. This puts her in the race to become Miss Universe in the pageant that will be held in November.
Marina joins Rikkie Valerie Kolle, who became the first transgender woman to win the title of Miss Netherlands in July, and other 88 winners from around the world who will compete for the prestigious title at the pageant.
Marina took to Instagram to thank her supporters for their positive and empowering messages and shared a video where she said, “To all of you watching, I just want to say that, just like the universe, your possibilities in life are limitless. So, don’t limit yourself to any dream that you have.”
This is not the first time that the Miss Universe pageant has included trans contestants. In 2018, Miss Spain Angela Ponce became the first one to do so.
The pageant becoming more and more inclusive could be a direct result of the Miss Universe organisation being bought by transgender business mogul Anne Jakkapong Jakrajutatip last year. The CEO of the Thailand-based JKN Global Group bought its rights for $20 million and became the first woman to own the pageant in its 71 year history.