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So Far There Are 2 Out Trans Women Competing In This Year’s Miss Universe Pageant

Rikkie Valerie Kollé and Marina Machete are among the 90 women who will compete in El Salvador to become the 72nd Miss Universe…

Rikkie Valerie Kollé, the first out transgender woman to be crowned Miss Netherlands, and Marina Machete, the first out transgender woman to win Miss Portugal, will both be competing for the chance to become Miss Universe in El Salvador this coming November.

Of course, there could always be more, as not all eligible countries have declared their contestants as of yet. However, it appears that Kollé and Machete will be the only trans contestants… There are two more qualifying pageants coming up — in Mongolia and China — before the Miss Universe pageant next month, and no local reporting has identified any trans contestants.

In July, Kollé, 22, became the first trans woman to be crowned Miss Netherlands.

“Yes I’m trans and I want to share my story but I’m also Rikkie and that’s what matters to me,” she wrote in an Instagram post at the time. “I did this on my own strength and enjoyed every moment.”

Last week, Machete, 28, became the first transgender woman to win Miss Portugal. Ahead of winning Miss Portugal she wrote in an Instagram post that she was “proud to be the first trans woman to compete for the title”, adding: “For many years I wasn’t eligible to compete, and now it’s such an honour to be part of this incredible group of candidates.”

Miss Universe first allowed transgender women to compete in 2012, with Angela Ponce, from Spain, becoming the first to enter six years later.

In 2022, Thai businesswoman and trans advocate Anne Jakkaphong Jakrajutatip bought the Miss Universe franchise, previously owned by disgraced former US president Donald Trump.

“From now on, it’s gonna be run by women, owned by a trans woman, for all women around the world to celebrate the power of feminism,” she said. “[On] this stage, called [the] Miss Universe competition, we can elevate all women to feel strong enough, good enough, qualified enough.”

The 72nd annual Miss Universe competition will take place on November 18, 2023 in El Salvador, Central America.

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