History has been made in the trans community as one brave woman won the latest Miss Universe competition, but her aspirations don’t just stop at a competition.
Breaking Barriers in Beauty Pageantry
Rikkie Valerie Kollé has achieved a groundbreaking victory as the first transgender woman to be crowned Miss Netherlands.
From Local Triumph to Global Stage
Following her win, Kollé is set to represent the Netherlands at the prestigious Miss Universe pageant, scheduled to be held in El Salvador later this year.
A Glittering Coronation
The 22-year-old beauty was crowned with a sparkling tiara during a dazzling ceremony at the AFAS Theater in Leusden, succeeding her predecessor, Ona Moody.
A Triumph Over Obstacles
In an ecstatic Instagram post, Kollé exclaimed, “I DID IT!!!!” while embracing her unique journey. She proudly identifies as a transgender woman and is eager to share her inspiring story.
Embracing Identity and Inspiring Others
Kollé emphasized the importance of being true to oneself, writing, “I’m also Rikkie, and that’s what matters to me.” She expressed her desire to be a beacon of hope for individuals worldwide who seek a relatable role model.
A Diverse Heritage
Hailing from the city of Breda, located between Rotterdam and Antwerp, Kollé is of Dutch and Indigenous Moluccan descent.
A Voice for All
With her newfound platform, Kollé aspires to be a powerful advocate for young women and queer individuals, determined to leave stories of suffering and exclusion behind.
Trailblazing Trans Contestants
While not the first trans woman to grace the Miss Universe stage, Kollé joins the ranks of trailblazers like Angela Ponce, who represented Spain in 2018, and the increasing number of transgender contestants in recent years.
A History of Inclusivity
The Miss Universe competition welcomed transgender contestants beginning in 2012, marking a significant step toward inclusivity and representation in beauty pageants.
Transgender women continue to make strides in pageantry, with figures like Kataluna Enriquez, former Miss Nevada, participating in the Miss USA pageant in 2021, and Daniela Arroyo González competing for Miss Universe Puerto Rico this year.
A New Era for Miss Universe
The Miss Universe Organization underwent transformative changes when Thai business mogul and transgender activist Anne Jakrajutatip acquired it. Her vision was to redefine the pageant as a platform for women’s empowerment.
Anne Jakrajutatip has rebranded Miss Universe, describing it not as a mere beauty pageant but as a “women’s empowerment competition.”
A Chance to Rewrite History
Kollé now stands on the cusp of making history once more. If she secures the Miss Universe title in December, she will become the first openly transgender woman to achieve this remarkable feat.
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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Bogdan Sonjachnyj. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.