Miss Netherlands crowns trans woman Rikkie Valerie Kollé

Rikkie Valerie Kollé becomes the first transgender woman to be crowned Miss Netherlands 2023, and will represent the country at the Miss Universe pageant later this year.

Historic victory: Rikkie Valerie Kollé, a transgender woman, won the title of Miss Netherlands 2023.
* The 22-year old was crowned on stage at the AFAS Theater in Leusden by previous Miss Netherlands, Ona Moody.

Driving the message: Kollé stated her intention to use her platform to share her story and create visibility for the transgender community.
* She mentioned on her Instagram post, “Yes I’m trans and I want to share my story but I’m also Rikkie and that’s what matters to me”.
* A person of Dutch and Indigenous Moluccan descent, Kollé hails from the city of Breda. She aims to be a role model for young women and queer people.

Increasing inclusivity: The Miss Universe competition has been gradually accepting more transgender contestants.
* The Miss Universe Organization started allowing transgender contestants in 2012, with Angela Ponce of Spain becoming the first out trans contestant in 2018.
* Recently, Thai business mogul Anne Jakrajutatip, a trans activist and transgender woman herself, bought the Miss Universe Organization and stated her commitment to making the organization an inclusive platform.

Potential history: If Kollé wins the Miss Universe contest in December, she will be the first openly trans woman to do so.
* This follows other preliminary wins for trans women, such as Kataluna Enriquez who became the first trans contestant in a Miss USA pageant in 2021, and Daniela Arroyo González who is competing for this year’s Miss Universe Puerto Rico title.

View original article on NPR

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