BOSTON (CBS) – Watching the uneventful video of people lining up to legally buy recreational marijuana – a sight that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago — reinforces a key fact about culture — change is inevitable.

Here’s another example.

Catriona Gray of the Phillipines, a former Berklee College of Music student, just won the Miss Universe pageant. But she wasn’t the biggest story there.

Angela Ponce of Spain competes in the swimsuit competition during the 2018 Miss Universe pageant in Bangkok on December 13, 2018. (Photo credit LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA/AFP/Getty Images)

That belonged to Angela Ponce of Spain, the pageant’s first openly transgender contestant. In 2012 then-pageant-owner Donald Trump lifted its ban on transgender competitors under threat of legal action on behalf of Miss Canada.

Six years later, Mr. Trump is president, presiding over an administration that wants to ban transgender people from military service and roll back some of their hard-won civil rights. But while those battles play out in the courts and at the polls, cultural attitudes are changing, too slowly for some, not without setbacks, but inexorably, propelled by basic human decency and common sense.

After all, a beauty pageant like Miss Universe is supposed to be about female beauty, poise and talent, three things Angela Ponce seems to have plenty of. Her original gender and medical history didn’t seem to bother pageant judges in Spain – why on earth would they bother anyone else?

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  1. Theodore Oule says:

    There’s a difference between “civil rights”, a thoroughly honorable and correct concept, and exhibitionism.

    Where the line gets cross, I have no idea. But the line does get crossed, and it is obvious when it happens. And, when it is obvious, it should be called for what it is.

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