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.
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