First Transgender Woman Crowned Miss Netherlands 2023

by:

G-Viral

Rikkie Valerie Kollé has been crowned Miss Netherlands 2023, becoming the first transgender woman to hold the prestigious title. The announcement, which has gained widespread attention, marks a significant milestone for inclusivity and diversity in beauty pageants.

The 22-year-old model, hailing from the city of Breda in the Netherlands, secured the crown at the AFAS Theater in Leusden on Saturday. The coveted tiara was presented to Kollé by her predecessor, Ona Moody, amid an atmosphere of celebration and support.

Taking to Instagram to share her joy, Kollé posted, “I DID IT !!!!! Yes, I’m trans, and I want to share my story, but I’m also Rikkie, and that’s what matters to me. Wherever you are in the world, I want to be there for you and be the example that I missed as a little me.” Her heartfelt message reflects her desire to inspire and serve as a role model for young women and queer individuals.

Kollé, of Dutch and Indigenous Moluccan heritage, aims to use her platform to amplify the voices of marginalized communities. Having personally experienced a lack of support when she came out as transgender at a young age, she intends to foster an environment where stories of suffering become remnants of the past.

While Kollé is not the first transgender woman to compete in the Miss Universe pageant, her historic win opens new doors for representation. In 2018, Angela Ponce made history as the first openly transgender contestant to represent Spain in the competition. The Miss Universe Organization began allowing transgender participants in 2012, and since then, more trans women have been taking part in preliminary pageants worldwide.

The inclusion of transgender contestants is part of a broader shift towards greater diversity and acceptance. In 2021, Kataluna Enriquez, a former Miss Nevada, made history as the first transgender woman to compete in the Miss USA pageant. Additionally, Daniela Arroyo González, a trans woman and activist, will vie for the Miss Universe Puerto Rico title in the upcoming month.

Last year, Thai business mogul Anne Jakrajutatip, a trans activist herself, acquired the Miss Universe Organization. Committed to promoting inclusivity, Jakrajutatip aims to transform the pageant into a platform that empowers women. In an interview with Metro Weekly in January, she stated, “I don’t call Miss Universe a beauty pageant anymore. I call it a women’s empowerment competition.”

As Kollé advances to represent the Netherlands at the Miss Universe pageant, scheduled to be held in El Salvador later this year, she has an opportunity to make history once again. If she secures the Miss Universe title in December, she would become the first openly transgender woman to achieve this prestigious honor.

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