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Rikkie Valerie Kollé Makes History As First Trans Woman Crowned Miss Netherlands

Kollé will go on to represent her country in Miss Universe later this year…

Rikkie Valerie Kollé has become the first openly trans woman to be crowned Miss Netherlands in the beauty pageant’s 94 year history.

The 22-year-old from Breda, a city in the southern part of the Netherlands, was awarded the title over the weekend at the AFAS Theater in Leusden. She will now go on to compete in the Miss Universe 2023 competition due to be held in El Salvador later this year.

Throughout the competition, which narrowed down hundreds of entrants to 10 finalists in April, Kollé has used her platform to promote a more inclusive vision of the pageant world, and to encourage others to feel inspired.

Posting a snapshot of the celebratory moment on stage to Instagram, Kollé wrote,

“I DID IT !!!!!” Kollé wrote in a joyous Instagram post. “It’s unreal but I get to call myself @missnederland 2023. It was an educational and beautiful journey, my year can’t be broken anymore. I’m so proud and happy I can’t even describe it. Making my community proud and showing it can be done,” she added in Dutch with an emoji of the light blue, light pink and white-striped trans flag.

“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.”

She also thanked the jury and everyone from the Miss Netherlands team, promising “this is only the beginning”. Whilst thanking her co-finalists, family, and friends, Kollé also said to her wider supporters: “You gave me so much extra strength from the hall. And wherever you are in the world, I want to be there for you and be the example that I missed as a little me.”

If Kollé wins Miss Universe, she will be the first trans women to wear its tiara. The pageant has allowed trans participants since 2012, and in 2018, Ángela Ponce from Spain became the pageant’s first out contestant, but she did not advance to the finals.

Next month, activist Daniela Arroyo González will also look to make history as the first out trans woman to win Miss Universe Puerto Rico, and will advance to Miss Universe as well if crowned. This year, 90 women from around the world will compete in the 2023 pageant, according to its website.

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