The stunning Marina Machete, a 28-year-old flight attendant, was awarded the Miss Portugal title on Thursday last week, at the contest in Borba, in the Évora region.
The first trans woman ever to be voted Miss Portugal, Marina, from Palmela in Setúbal, will compete against another transgender woman, Miss Holland, for the title of Miss Universe in El Salvador, in November.
Before winning the contest, she wrote on social media "I'm proud to be the first trans woman to compete for the title of Miss Universe Portugal, for years it was not possible for me to participate and today I feel proud to be part of this incredible group of finalists."
In July, 22-year-old Dutch Rikkie Kollé became the first transgender woman to win the Miss Netherlands title. However, she has sadly experienced disgusting feedback on social media, "I thought we were accepting in the Netherlands... But the hateful comments show the other side of our society," she said. "They see us as monsters, my inbox fills up every day with people wishing for my death."
We hope the Portuguese community will be accepting, respectful and supportive of Marina, who as a beautiful, intelligent young Portuguese woman deserves the Miss Portugal title wholeheartedly.
The Miss Universe contest at last began allowing trans people to participate in 2012, following a wave of criticism in reaction to the disqualification of Canadian contestant, Jenna Talackova, for being a trans woman.
Marina Machete and Rikkie Kollé will succeed Angela Ponce of Spain, who became the first European transgender candidate for the Miss Universe title in 2018.