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Miss Netherlands Crowns First Trans Woman In Pageant's History

Miss Netherlands Crowns First Trans Woman In Pageant's History

Rikkie Valerie Kollé

Next, Rikkie Valerie Kollé will be the second trans woman to compete for Miss Universe.


A trans woman has taken home the title of Miss Netherlands 2023 for the very first time in the pageant’s history.

Rikkie Valerie Kollé celebrated her win on Instagram over the weekend, calling it “unreal” and an “educational and beautiful journey.”

“I’m so proud and happy I can’t even describe it,” she wrote. “Making my community proud and showing it can be done. And yes I’m trans and I want to share my story but I’m also Rikkie and that’s what matters to me. Did this on my own and loved every moment of it.”

The victory is a breath of fresh air at a time when trans people are increasingly under attack for simply trying to exist in the world the same way that everyone else does. Unfortunately, the comments section on Kollé’s Instagram post reflects that bigotry all too well, but it doesn’t change the fact that she won, or that she blazed a trail for others in her country by becoming the first trans woman in the 94 years the pageant has taken place to claim the title.

“This finalist shined throughout the show and has also made the greatest progress along the way,” reads the jury report from the pageant, praising her “iron strong story with a clear mission.”

“I want to be a voice and role model for young women and queer people,” Kollé wrote in her entry profile for the Miss Netherlands competition. “Through my commitment and strength, I hope to bring about change in society.”

Next, Kollé will go on to compete in the Miss Universe pageant in El Salvador this December, making her the second trans contender for that crown. Angela Ponce competed in 2018 after winning Miss Universe Spain in the same year, but ultimately did not advance to the finals.

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