The Miss Puerto Rico Universe is one of the most competitive pageantry titles on the island. It also has since 1970 produced five Miss Universe winners in Marisol Malaret, Deborah Carthy-Deu (1985), Dayanara Torres (1993), Denise Quinones (2001) and Zulekya Rivera (2006).
While the Miss Universe pageantry system since 2013 has allowed trans women to compete, Puerto Rico along with Venezuela, the Philippines and surprisingly Thailand have been among the holdout organizations among the perennial Miss Universe contender nations barring trans women from competing.
But in the wake of a t positive federal court decision earlier this year from US District Judge Carmen Consuelo Cerezo that allows trans Puerto Ricans to update their gender markers, and Angela Ponce’s breakthrough win in the Miss Universe Spain pageant, that’s changing.
Quinones, took over as the new Miss Puerto Rico Universe pageant director in March and has long been an advocate for trans women being allowed to compete.
She announced during a pageant registration event taking place on the same day that trans Puerto Ricans were allowed to change their gender markers, that trans women would be allowed to compete in the Miss Puerto Rico Universe pageant starting in 2019.
Like other contestants, trans Puerto Ricans who are ages 18-27, have changed their documentation and wish to compete in the pageant either must be born on the island, have one parent who is Puerto Rican or ha lived on the island for 10 years or more, will be allowed to compete for the title.
We’ll have to wait until 2019 to see if any trans contestants enter Miss Puerto Rico Universe. Time will tell if there will be a trans Miss Puerto Rico that wins the title, and goes on to compete at Miss Universe and bring another crown back to the island.