Transgender woman among the favourites to win Miss Universe

Angela Ponce is the first transgender contestant to compete in the international Miss Universe competition(Photo: Instagram/Angela Ponce)

Bookmakers are slashing the odds on a transgender contestant to lift the tiara at this year's Miss Universe contest.

Angela Ponce, 27, is the current Miss Spain and the first transgender person to compete in the Miss Universe pageant after the ban on trans contestants was lifted six years ago.

This year's competition is taking place on December 16 in Bangkok, Thailand, and bookmakers are expecting a flurry of bets on Ponce to win.

Bookmaker William Hill said that although its favourite to win was South Africa's Tamaryn Green at 6/1 odds, it had received the most bets from punters so far on Ponce.

'Our Miss Universe betting has tailed off recently, however this year's has seen a massive spike with the majority backing Angela Ponce to win the crown,' William Hill spokesman Joe Crilly told the Daily Star.

Ponce told Time magazine in an interview last month that if she won the competition 'it would be a win for human rights'.

'I'm showing that trans women can be whatever they want to be: a teacher, a mother, a doctor, a politician and even Miss Universe,' she said.

She added: 'Trans women have been persecuted and erased for so long. If they give me the crown, it would show trans women are just as much women as cis women.'