In a groundbreaking moment for the Miss Netherlands beauty pageant, a transgender woman has been crowned for the first time in the competition’s history. Rikkie Valerie Kolle, a 22-year-old model, made history on Sunday as she emerged as the winner of the prestigious title.
Dressed in an elegant red gown, Rikkie Valerie Kolle was overwhelmed with emotion as she received her crown from her predecessor, Ona Moody, and the reigning Miss Universe, R’Bonney Gabriel from the USA. Standing proudly with a bouquet of flowers, she was met with applause from her fellow competitors. Expressing her excitement, she took to Twitter, exclaiming, “I DID IT!”
This significant achievement sets the stage for Rikkie Valerie Kolle to compete in the upcoming Miss Universe 2023 pageant. Taking place in El Salvador in December, the exact date is yet to be confirmed. Contestants from 24 countries will gather to vie for the highly coveted title. Rikkie Valerie Kolle will be the second transgender woman to participate in the Miss Universe pageant, following the trailblazing footsteps of Angela Ponce from Spain, who competed in 2018.
Reflecting on her journey, Angela Ponce expressed her disbelief at reaching the final stage of the competition. The inclusion of transgender contestants in the Miss Universe pageant has been possible since 2012, marking a significant step towards inclusivity and acceptance.
It is worth noting that the Miss Universe organization underwent a change in ownership in October 2022. Thai businesswoman and advocate Anne Jakrajutatip, who identifies as transgender, purchased the organization. Under her leadership, she has pledged to uphold the pageant’s tradition of empowering women and intends to evolve the brand for future generations.
Earlier this year, another noteworthy development occurred in the pageant world when openly transgender Daniela Arroyo González was selected to compete in the Puerto Rico competition. These remarkable milestones reflect a growing acceptance and recognition of transgender individuals in the beauty pageant industry.