US singing competition show The Voice featured its first ever transgender contestant on Monday (5 March) night’s episode.
Angel Bonilla auditioned with a rendition of Sam Smith’s number Lay Me Down.
She didn’t get her own segment on the episode, but a montage. However, the judges were impressed with her vocal chops and she ended up on Adam Levine’s team.
Her segment begins around the 49 second mark.
Bonilla, 31, is from the Philippines. After she sings, she tells the judges she was born Carlos.
‘As early as 5-years-old, I already knew that I am a girl, trapped in a boy’s body,’ she says during her reel. ‘Growing up in a very conservative family, it was very difficult for my father. When my dad saw me as a girl for the first time, he was puzzled. He wasn’t sure if I was his son, but he embraced me.
‘I promised him I would do great things. I wanted my father to be proud of me and I’m doing this to honor him,’ she finishes through tears.
As she sings, her father is seen off-stage cheering her on with a smile.
The show’s history with inclusion
In 2012, the show won a GLAAD Media Award for its inclusion of LGBTI talent.
Last season the show also featured a drag queen contestant, Chris ‘Nedra Belle’ Weaver.
On the worldwide scale, the series is also successful with diversity.
Jordan Gray became the first ever out trans contestant on The Voice UK in 2016. Two years previously, Tom Atias competed on The Voice Israel. However, he didn’t come out as trans until after the season finished.